Making Democracy Work

Voter Services

Election and Voter Information- Read about new rules regarding online voter registration.

Register to Vote Online

Register to Vote Online

Your Vote Counts!

Eligible Illinoisans can now register online to vote and update their voter registration if they have an Illinois driver's license or state identification card.

For an online voter registration application, visit the Illinois State Board of Elections website.

The State Board of Elections database has an interface with the Illinois Secretary of State's office where the accuracy of the information can be substantiated.

November 4, 2014 Election Day

Fall Elections 2014: Key Dates

  • 9/25/2014 First day mail ballots will be sent out
  • 10/7/2014 Last day to register to vote
  • 10/8/2014 First day of grace period registration and voting
  • 10/20/2014 First day of Early Voting
  • 10/30/2014 Last day to request a mail ballot, including military and overseas voters
  • 11/1/2014 Last day of Early Voting
  • 11/1/2014 Last day of grace period registration and voting
  • 11/2/2014 In-person absentee voting at the Clerk's downtown Chicago office
  • 11/3/2014 Last day voted mail ballots can be postmarked for acceptance by the Clerk's office

In-person absentee voting at the Clerk's downtown Chicago office and five suburban courthouse mini-centers
  • 11/4/2014 Election Day

    IF NTHS Board votes 8/13/14 to place referendum on Nov 2014 ballot.

IF Park Board votes to go to place referendum on April 2015 ballot.

Election Day Voter Registration

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. (Note, this is to ensure only one vote is cast for these voters.) Applicants must have two forms of identification, one of which must include a current address. No photo ID is required. (Note, this is because of expanded computer access to Secretary of State records.)

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 Monday-Friday 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 see http://tinyurl.com/oukyj66

Unlike so many other states that have recently passed restrictive voting laws, Illinois continues to be among the states that are expanding voting access. Under study are provisions to link US Post Office change of address records to help keep voter roles up to date within Illinois. In addition, lawmakers are considering participation in the Pew Charitable Trust Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) database for state to state checks.

Changes in Cook County/Illinois Election Rules for 2014

Changes in Cook County/Illinois Election Rules for 2014

  • Secure online voter registration is available in Illinois. The Illinois State Board of Elections' online voter registration application can be found by clicking here.
  • 17 year old who will be 18 by November 4, 2014 can register to vote after 1/2/14 and vote in the Gubernatorial Primary Election 3/18/14
  • The online application for mail-in voting was simplified for those with a drivers license or state ID
  • Grace-period voter registration (during the month right before an election) has been extended so that citizens can now register at local county courthouses up until the election as long as they vote on the same day
  • Early voting has been extended to include Sundays at certain locations
  • It is now easier to check online whether you are an active voter and where you vote (including a Google map of the location) http://www.cookcountyclerk.com/elections/voterprofile
  • Check in on election day will now be easier at many locations. Election *Judges will have electronic poll books vs the old system of paper records

Update on Redistricting Petition 2014

July 2014

The Yes for Independent Maps campaign has decided not to pursue getting its amendment on the November ballot. This decision was made, in part, because of a court decision. Click here to read more on the LWVIL website.

Legislative Interviews April 22, 2014

April Legislative Interviews - An Observer Corps Report From the Event

North Shore Leagues Host Lively Exchange with Legislators

By Betty Hayford (LWV Evanston ) and Mary Reynolds & Carole Weber ( LWV Glenview)

On April 22, five North Shore leagues + Evanston, Glencoe, Glenview, Wilmette and Winnetka-Northfield-Kenilworth -- hosted their Springfield representatives for a lively and rich exchange on activities and trends in the Illinois legislature. Senator Daniel Biss (9th District), Representative Laura Fine (17th District) and Representative Robyn Gabel (18th District) met League members at the Glenview Public Library to respond to questions developed by LWVIL. All three responded fully to the questions and, in addition, provided thorough background on the issues and insights into legislative possibilities for the current term.

The three representatives expressed similar views on most issues, although they also provided their individual thoughts on the various questions. They acknowledged that their relatively affluent North Shore districts were similarly distinct from those of their legislative colleagues in other parts of the state, particularly southern Illinois.

All three are working on a fix to the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards. Sen. Biss pointed out that the introduction of electricity aggregation contracts in many municipalities has changed the environment for renewable energy. They also support legislation to "ban the box" on private sector hiring applications, which is related to a number of other steps that need to be taken to improve the criminal justice system. Excessive prison populations need to be reduced to cut state spending and strengthen our communities.

All support increasing state education funding, working to ensure both adequate funds and equitable distribution of funds. State education funding needs to be focused on the neediest communities. Rep. Fine is calling for increased state funding for higher education, currently too expensive for many students. They agree on the need for a moratorium on fracking in order to develop stronger environmental safeguards before it is allowed.

Sen. Biss believes additional restrictions should be put on concealed weapons, particularly in houses of worship and any places serving liquor. Rep. Gabel suggests that different parts of the state might have different gun regulations to reflect community views.

Rep. Fine described her impression of "two states," northern Illinois and southern Illinois, stating in her replies related to hydraulic fracking and gun violence prevention that one solution might not be right for the entire state but that she is committed to finding answers.

All support the creation of an Illinois Health Insurance Exchange which can provide greater consumer protections. They have a strong commitment to preserving a woman's control over reproductive choices, in consultation with her doctor, and reject the need for new laws to further regulate abortion clinics.

Voter rights get strong support from all three. There is no support for photo I.D. requirements, since there is no evidence of systemic voter fraud to justify this change. All believe early-voting is important to expand voter participation, and weekends and extended hours are more useful than extending the number of days. A longer period for early voting could complicate awareness of the issues and could be costly without being effective.

Sen. Biss expresses support for the Graduated Rate Income Tax (GRIT) amendment to the Illinois constitution, but is not optimistic about it getting the votes in the legislature necessary to be on the ballot in November. He believes that GRIT could be part of a broad set of options to strengthen the financial base of the Illinois government. Rep. Fine added that there is a lot of false information in the media from anti-GRIT foes and also that the proposed millionaires' tax will not be on the ballot.

None of our Springfield legislators is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), an organization which they consider a reflection of the influence of excessive corporate money in government and a danger to the political environment.

The five host Leagues are very appreciative of the thoughtful and informative presentations of all three representatives. The Leagues working together and the representatives responding collectively produced a valuable encounter.

To see the full set of questions and responses, see below:

Representative Fine. Senator Biss. Representive Gabel.

Team Effort Results In Record-breaking High School Voter Regisration

LWV Wilmette recognized as a "Democracy Champion" by David Orr, Cook County Clerk

May, 2014

This was an active year for voter registrations. The new law allowing 17-year old to vote in a primary election if they would be 18 by a presidential or mid-term election meant we had almost double the number of eligible students to register at our local high schools. David Orr's office honored our League for the record-breaking number of students we helped to registered before the primary (409). This year we tapped into some social media venues to encourage students to register and were more successful in reaching out to students through school adviseries and clubs.

More change will follow this summer as the online registration process becomes active July 1, 2014. We will continue to assist new voters, but now using iPads as well as paper applications. The online system will be restricted to new voters or those who wish to update their voter information who have an authentic Illinois driver's license or Illinois-issued identification card. This requirement for state ID is in place because electronic signatures will be copied from the Secretary of State database. For all others, the traditional options for registration remain (eg, Village Hall, Secretary of State offices, County Clerk's offices, and voter registration drives like ours).

Along with five other North Shore league members, three candidates from our League were trained as moderators in January. This new group of trained moderators will greatly help to relieve the shortage of trained moderators League-wide as we face a busy year for forums (November 2014, March 2015). The League is well served by our nine trained deputy registrars. A class for new registrars is planned for early this fall.

David Orr has recognized LWV Wilmette for our outstanding efforts in registering students at Loyola Academy and New Trier High School. In his letter of congratulations, he said "Your League has set a high standard that pushed other schools and organization to go the extra mile. It also gave our office a sense of momentum as we pushed schools and groups to be ambitious about engaging their students." He goes on to say, "You are true Champions of Democracy and we are lucky to have you as partners.",

Team Effort Results in Record-breaking, 413 New High School Student Voters

104 at Loyola Academy and 309 at New Trier High School

The outpouring of students to our high school voter registration events was overwhelming. Just take a look at the front page article in Trib Local this week to get a sense of what the New Trier High School event looked like. Click here to read the article.. One teacher brought his entire advisery to register with ID information in hand. In response to the large number of applicants, we tapped additional League members to help shorten the wait. Many thanks to league members from Glenview, Winnetka, and Glencoe for their support and to Wilmette members Lali Watt, Susan Morrison, Saima Abbasi, Therese Steinkin, Beth Nyhan, and Leslie Parsons.

Read more in Trib Local article.

Both New Trier and Loyola have agreed to send follow-up notices to their student body to remind them about the March 18th primary. The new Illinois law allowing 17-year olds to vote in primary elections if they will be 18 by the November mid-term or presidential elections has clearly sparked interest in participation in our election process. We heard over and over how frustrated students were with the inaction in Springfield and Washington. On a very positive note, several students shared with us that they are already serving as election judges or volunteering on campaigns. With stronger youth participation, hopefully, it will become increasingly clear to our legislators that gridlock is not acceptable.

Trudy Gibbs Voter Services Chair

US Supreme Court Rules Against Campaign Contribution Limits

Voters Guide for Cook County and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Primary Election

This year, the Cook County League has published a Voters Guide for Cook County and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.

Click here for The Cook County League of Women Voters website.

CLICK HERE FOR VOTERS GUIDE

Note: for County Commissioner, we are in district #13. For Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, we vote for 3 commissioners out of a list of many -- in other words, we are not restricted to a specific district.

The full ballot for Suburban Cook County's March 18th primary election has also been posted on the Cook County Clerk's office website, click here.

April 9, 2013 - VOTERS GUIDE

CLICK HERE FOR VOTERS GUIDE

CLICK HERE FOR CANDIDATE FORUM PROGRAM

Streaming Video of the Candidate Forum Sunday, March 17, click here and select SPECIAL PROGRAMS

Village Votes for Trustees, Commissioners, and Board Members April 9

The League held a Candidate Forum at the Village Hall on Sunday, March 17th. Ccandidates answered questions about how they would deal with pressing issues before the Village Board, Park Board, District #39 School Board and the Wilmette Public Library Board of Trustees.

Rebroadcasts of the event will be on Wilmette Local Access Channel as follows:

  • Thursday, 3/21

7pm LWV Forum - Village Trustee and President

8:30pm LWV Forum - Park Board

  • Monday, March 25th

6 pm LWV Forum - School District #39

7 pm LWV Forum - Library Board

  • Wednesday, March 27th

5pm LWV Forum - Village Trustee and President

6 pm LWV Forum - Park Board

7 pmLWV Forum - School District #39

8 pm LWV Forum - Library Board

  • Friday, March 29th - Sunday, March 31st

7:30pm LWV Forum - School District #39

8:30pm LWV Forum - Park Board

9:30pm LWV Forum - Village Trustee and President

10:30pm LWV Forum - Library Board

League of Women Voters of Wilmette's Voter's Guide contains written answers to questions posed to all the candidates, even those in uncontested races. It will be distributed at public buildings throughout Wilmette and is available online at the League of Woman Voters website.

1 to 2 Village Board Presidential Candidates

2 to 3 Candidates for Park District Board of Commissioners

3 to 4 Candidates for Wilmette District #39 Board of Education

4 to 5 Candidates for the Wilmette Public Library Board of Trustees

Your Polling Place May Have Changed

Your polling place may have changed!! Check the website:

Cook county Clerk Polling Place

Once on the website, go to Elections. Then put in the required information, which includes your name and address. Click GO and you will then see your polling place.

Consolidation of Precincts

To save Cook County money on election costs, a number of polling places are being consolidated. Of the current 65 precincts in New Trier Township, 19 will be eliminated. As yet, not all of the consolidation decisions have been finalized. However, by the end of February, voters affected by the change in the location of their polling place will receive a notice by mail. Look for those postcards yourself and spread the word about the closings to neighbors and friends. Due to the late date for decisions on closings, it is best to use the Cook County website at cookcountyclerk.com to confirm a polling place rather than the National League Polling Place Finder at Vote411.org.Here is a telephone number for the County Clerk: (312) 603-5656

Boundaries for State and Congressional Districts

VOTER INFORMATION

Vote411.org Find the facts about voting in your state at Vote411.org. Before an election, find your polling place.

Find information about the next election at .....

Cook County Clerk:http://www.cookctyclerk.com/

Local Referendum -Wilmette Power Purchasing Program Passed - WP3

Wilmette Power Purchasing Program

Wilmette League Endorses Cost Savings Plus 50% Renewable Energy Option

Wilmette voters by a large margin passed the referendum on authorizing the Village managers to form an aggregation of customers to collectively obtain our supply of electricity. The objective is to achieve rates that are lower than currently offered through ComEd.

At the April 27, 2012 Board meeting, we discussed how the Village of Wilmette in conjunction with the Village of Kenilworth is moving ahead very quickly with the selection of an alternative electric supplier for the newly form aggregate of residential and small commercial customers. The Wilmette Village management has been clear in public statements and in their presentation to our Board that the objective of the program is only to save money. With a "cost only" criteria for the selection of a supplier, Wilmette and Kenilworth will buy a standard package of electrical power from plants that produce power as the result of burning fossil fuels along with the required minimum of 7% renewable energy sources. At the first (and only) meeting of the Administration Committee of the Village Board on the topic, three options for suppliers were presented:

  • 1)standard package plus 7% renewable;
  • 2)100% renewables; and
  • 3)a complex hybrid of a standard package plus an option for residents to buy renewable energy certificates (RECs). The Committee was easily convinced the last option was too complex, but added a fourth option of standard package plus 50% renewable energy sources.

The endorsement statement that was presented and approved at the April LWV Board meeting is intended as a signal to the two Village boards that we support the new option. Click here to view Endorsement Position.

Additional information about the program is available on the Village website.

One reason for paying attention to sources selected is that more is at stake than simply cost. Wilmette does not generate any power within our community so that the burden of pollution produced falls in the backyards of other communities. As our managers and elected officials set policy, it is in the people of Wilmette's best interest to be mindful of the total costs of power production and not simply cost savings to our community. More is at stake than just air pollution; there is an enormous amount of water that is fouled in the process of harvesting, transporting, and burning fossil fuels. By selecting providers that will supply a higher percentage of green power, we would be accelerating the important transition from brown to green energy. At the very least, our requests for proposals should ask perspective providers to ask for what is called "power labeling" to disclose energy sources that would be provided. We need to keep in mind that the lowest costs to us come from aging coal and nuclear plants, but these plants are also associated with the highest healthcare burdens on society and they are already receiving large government subsidies.

Illinois Constitutional Amendment Bid Fails in November Election

Adapted from ASSOCIATED PRESS, Nov 7, 2012

Illinois voters have rejected a proposed amendment to the State constitution that would have made it more difficult to expand public employee retirement benefits. The proposed amendment fell short of the two criteria needed for passage. The measure needed a favorable vote from either three-fifths of those voting on the measure, or 50 percent of the total number of votes cast in Tuesday's election. Nearly 5 million people voted in the election. With lawmakers stalemated on how to fix a severely underfunded pension system, the amendment would have required a three-fifths vote of the Legislature -- instead of a simple majority -- to increase pension benefits for public employees. Illinois pension systems are in a financial mess, and some critics say legislators too often grant better benefits without worrying about the cost. The amendment was intended to rein in lawmakers who might ram a pension increase through the General Assembly. It's also a reaction to cases of special benefits being provided to well-connected people, such as two union lobbyists who qualified for teachers' pensions after spending just one day as substitute teachers. Critics pointed out the change would do nothing to make up an $85 billion shortfall in the amount owed to five public pension systems. And it would rarely have an effect on pension-boost votes. Most pension "sweeteners" have been approved by overwhelming majorities, and the increases are a small part of the financial problem. They account for only 9 percent of growth in the pension shortfall over the past 15 years. Besides raising the vote requirement in the Legislature, the amendment also would raise the requirement for city councils, school boards and other public bodies to pass anything that would increase pension costs, aside from higher wages. Critics say this invites a storm of lawsuits over exactly what would be covered by the amendment. Copyright 2012 -- Sun-Times Media, LLC

After reviewing the General Assembly's proposal, relevant League positions and precedents, and researching supporting documentation, League of Women Voters of Illinois Board of Directors has decided to oppose HJRCA 49, the Constitutional Amendment referendum proposal that will be on the November 6, 2012 ballot. The rationale and explanation for this decision are on the LWV Illinois League website. (September 20, 2012)

To read the LWVIL rationale for this decision, Click here.