For the first time in a presidential primary election, all Illinois votes may cast their vote by mail, Cook County Clerk David Orr announced Thursday.
"In the past, you needed an absentee excuse to vote by mail," Orr said. "All voters are now eligible for a mail ballot, bringing one more convenient option for participating in the democratic process."
Mail ballot applications are now being accepted for the March 20 primary. Cook County voters can download an application at www.cookcountyclerk.com, request an application by calling 312-603-0946, or pick one up at any of the clerk's six offices.
The last day to request a ballot is March 15.
Applications are available in English, Spanish, Hindi and Chinese. Applications must be delivered to the clerk's office by mail or courier, or delivered in person by the voter. Applications cannot be emailed or faxed, except for military and overseas voters.
Upon receiving a mail ballot application, the Clerk's office verifies the voter's registration and signature, identifies their ballot style and then mails the ballot to the voter. After the voter makes their choices, the ballot must be mailed to the clerk's office with a postmark no later than March 19.
The law allowing for no-excuse mail voting was passed in 2009 and first implemented for the 2010 gubernatorial primary election, according to a news release.
Suburban Cook County: Mail ballot voters by election
- 2010 Gubernatorial General: 26,022
- 2010 Gubernatorial Primary: 5,627
- 2008 Presidential General: 26,922
- 2008 Presidential Primary: 9,241
- 2006 Gubernatorial General: 10,657
- 2006 Gubernatorial Primary: 2,081
Early voting will be held from Feb. 27 through March 15 at 44 suburban Cook County locations, including the . Voters must present valid photo identification to participate.
Voters can access their registration status, precinct, polling location, voting districts and sample ballot by using the county's Voter Information Tool. Due to redistricting and precinct reductions, voters may now reside in different legislative districts and they could have been assigned to a new Election Day precinct and/or polling location, Orr said.
All suburban Cook County voters will receive their voter information by mail later this month.