Making Democracy Work

Voting Information

Information for Voters

Information on registration and voting locations and dates, registration verification, vote by mail application, and sample ballots can be found at:

Cook County Clerk
69 W. Washington, Suite 500,
Chicago, IL 60602

Chicago Board of Elections
69 W. Washington, Suite 600,
Chicago, IL 60602

March 15, 2016 Primary Election in Cook County

Tuesday, March 15
Polls open at 6:00 AM and close at 7:00 PM

Polling place locations, sample ballots and other election information is available at for Chicago residents and at for suburban Cook County residents.

Primary Elections are held to determine who will represent each party on the ballot in the November general election. Voters in Illinois are required to select a ballot for a particular party, but by doing so, are not joining that party. Voters may select a ballot for any party regardless of which ballot was selected in previous elections. Choice of ballot in the primary election has no impact on voting in the general election. To vote, voters must be registered to vote at their current address.

Candidates for the following offices are seeking nomination in this election::

  • President of the United States
  • United States Senator
  • Representatives in Congress
  • State Senators and Representatives in the General Assembly
  • Illinois Comptroller
  • Cook County State's Attorney, Clerk of the Circuit Court, and Recorder of Deeds
  • Commissioners of the Board of Review of Cook County - Districts 1 and 2
  • Commissioners of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District - 3 to be nominated for 6 year terms - 1 to be nominated to fill a vacancy for a 2 year term


CLERK OF THE CIRCUIT COURT The Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County is the keeper of the records of the Court. The Clerk is responsible for serving the court, the legal profession and the general public. In this role, the Clerk records court decisions and events, handles fines, bail bonds and other financial transactions and provides the court system with supportive services such as record storage, microfilming and automation.

RECORDER OF DEEDS The office of the Recorder of Deeds records, stores and provides information that is accurate, legible, timely and easily retrievable for public and private use. The office creates public records of land transactions as well as federal and state tax liens, articles of incorporation and uniform commercial code filings.

STATE'S ATTORNEY The Cook County State's Attorney's Office acts on behalf of the citizens of the State of Illinois in prosecuting crimes committed in Cook County, the largest consolidated court district in the United States. The State's Attorney's office also serves as legal counsel for the Cook County government agencies and all Cook County public officials.

THE BOARD OF REVIEW The Cook County Board of Review is a three member board, elected from three electoral districts, that is vested with quasi-judicial powers to hear and decide tax payer complaints on assessed value or exempt status of real property in Cook County.

Also to be voted on: METROPOLITAN WATER RECLAMATIOIN DISTRICT COMMISSIONERS Although its name may imply otherwise, the MWRD of Greater Chicago is an independent government and taxing body, a special purpose district covering most of Cook County. The MWRD's main purpose is the reclamation and treatment of waste water and flood water abatement in Cook County to protect the health and safety of citizens and area waterways. The MWRD is governed by a nine member board elected at large with three commissioners elected every two years.

STATE AND COUNTY JUDGES In Illinois we vote on judicial candidates who have met certain legal requirements to serve as judges. In this election we will be voting to fill vacancies of appellate and circuit court judges.

Several nonpartisan websites with evaluations of judges by knowledgeable professionals are available for voters to view prior to the election. One recommended site, reports the results of many bar groups that evaluate the judicial candidates' performance and recommend whether he or she is qualified to be a judge.

Voter Registration

A registered voter can participate in the electoral process and with their vote is given the power to make a difference in deciding who will serve in elected office.

To register online you must have an Illinois drivers license or Illinois state ID.

You can also register at the following locations:

  • Cook County Clerks Office
  • Cook County Court Houses
  • Chicago Board of Elections Office
  • Any village, city or township clerk office
  • Any Illinois Secretary of State Drivers License Facility
  • Or you can request a mail-in registration application from the County Clerk or Chicago Board of Elections Office

Deadline for online and regular registration is Tuesday, February 16

Grace Period Registration and Voting

Wednesday, February 17 through Monday, March 14

Grace period registration and voting allows a voter to register or change their address or name after the regular registration period ends. It provides a way to vote for those who are not registered or not current with their voter registration. Grace period registrants vote immediately after registering, and are not eligible to vote during early voting or on election day. Grace period registration and voting will be conducted at each County Clerk's location and at the Chicago Board of Elections. See their websites for location addresses.

Early Voting and Voting by Mail

Monday, February 29 through Monday, March 14

Early voting begins 15 days prior to the election and extends through the Monday before the election. Early voting locations can be viewed on the Chicago Board of Elections or the Cook County Clerk websites.

Mail Ballots can be requested from Wednesday, December 16 through Thursday, March 10
March 14 - Last day for mail-in ballot to be postmarked for return to election authority

Mail voting is a convenient way to cast a ballot when a voter is unable to vote during early voting or on election day. Mail ballot applications can be downloaded from the County Clerk's or Chicago Board of Elections websites or by phone from those offices. (County Clerk - 312-603-0946, Chicago Board of Elections - 312-269-7967). Ballots will be sent via mail to voters and mail in ballots must be postmarked by the day before the election and received within 14 days after the election

Become an Election Judge and Participate in the Election Process

Be a participant in our democracy by becoming an Election Judge.
For information on requirements and signing up click here.