Reference librarians answer many questions about where and how to vote in suburban Cook county.
The State of Illinois and the Cook County Clerk's office have very comprehensive websites to get this information.
We have an Election 2020 page on our library website.
But still, it is confusing.
For people that don't use a computer, it can be not only confusing but frustrating. We are here to help.
Here are the answers to questions that should be top of the list.
AM I REGISTERED TO VOTE?
It's easy to check and confirm that you are registered. Your birth date and address will be needed. The Illinois Online Voters Registration page hosted by the Illinois State Board of Elections is the place to look. Click HERE
Not registered? You have three options:
- Online registration is available if you have a valid Illinois state id or driver’s license. Click HERE. Deadline October 18
- In Person registration is also available. To find the appropriate location to register in person. Click HERE. Deadline October 6
- Register by mail with a paper application. Get the paper application HERE. Deadline October 6
More information and detail on how to register to vote is provided on the Cook County Clerk's page HERE.
There are still more options such as Grace Period Registration and Election Day voting.
These last options have special requirements and dates. Read about them on the Cook County Clerk's page. We can help decipher the details.
HOW (AND WHEN) WILL I VOTE?
Vote By Mail
If you want to vote by mail, you can request a mail-in ballot ONLINE or fill out a paper form to request the ballot.
Request the paper form HERE or call the Reference desk and we will print it for you to pick up. Various languages are availalble.
The official deadline to request a mail-in ballot is October 29. The Cook County Clerk's office suggests doing it ahead of the official deadline.
Frequently asked questions about mail-in ballots are HERE.
In Person Early Voting
If you want to vote in person, you may vote early at various locations.
The Des Plaines Library is an early voting location from October 19 through November 2. (but NOT a polling place on election day)
In Person Voting on Election Day
If you want to vote on election day, November 3, you need to go to your designated location specific to your address. To find that location, Click HERE.
WHAT ARE THE BEST RESOURCES TO BECOME AN INFORMED VOTER?
Finding reliable sources takes work.
Des Plaines Public Library has a list of election related sources on our Elections 2020 webpage.
The big Illinois issue is the Illinois Allow for Graduated Income Tax Amendment.
One resource we recommend is Ballotpedia, a site whose mission is to be neutral. To learn more about the nonprofit Ballotpedia, here is their about us page.
It handles this issue from all sides as well as informs about candidates and other issues on your particular ballot.
Wondering about the presidential debates?
Check out the Commission of Presidential Debates a nonpartisan, nonprofit debate sponsor. The first presidential debate is Tuesday, September 29. Followed by October 7, October 15 and October 22.
Reference librarians can be reached at 847-376-2841 or firstname.lastname@example.org