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From the Desk of Cook County Clerk David Orr

Dear Friends,

Illinois has made important strides recently regarding voting rights.

On July 1, not only did online registration go into effect, but Public Act 98-0691 was signed into law by Governor Quinn. For the November election, the new law will expand registration and voting opportunities, most notably by extending early voting and allowing “Election Day registration” at select sites.

Here is what you need to know regarding online registration and P.A. 98-0691:

Online Registration

  • The Illinois State Board of Elections website now allows citizens with an IL driver’s license or state ID to register to vote online. Voters can also find the link on our website, cookcountyclerk.com.
  • Anyone may promote online voter registration by placing registration links on their website, Facebook, Twitter or through email.

Public Act 98-0691

The five provisions below are in effect on a pilot basis for the November 4, 2014 Election:

  • Election Day registration: Voters will be able to register and cast ballots on Election Day at limited sites. Voters who take part in Election Day registration will cast a provisional ballot. Applicants must have two forms of identification, one of which must include a current address. No photo ID is required.
  • Grace period registration will be extended to the Sunday and Monday before Election Day at limited sites. Grace period voters who cast their ballot on Monday must cast a provisional ballot.
  • Early voting will extend an extra day, to the Sunday before the election.
  • The Mon-Fri before the election, early voting sites will remain open an additional two hours, until 7:00 p.m.
  • A photo ID is not required for early voting during the 2014 general election. Signature verification will continue to be done.

These provisions are permanent:

  • Employers cannot force employees to use vacation time or any paid leave to serve as an election judge.
  • Voters may submit their applications for mail ballots to their election authorities starting 90 days before the election. (It was previously 40 days.) Note that while mail ballot applications can be sent in earlier, the timeline of when ballots are mailed out to voters remains unchanged.

For more information about Public Act 98-0691 please see the attached summary.

Unlike so many other states that have recently passed restrictive voting laws, Illinois continues to be among the states that are expanding voting access.

Sincerely,

 

David Orr

Cook County Clerk

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