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Voter's Guide: Voter Registration
& Election Info

Registering to vote, upcoming elections, and nonpartisan resources for voters.

Plan to vote

Exercise your constitutional right to vote in the election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Voters will elect federal, state, and local officials; in Illinois, voters will also weigh in on a statewide referendum. For information on your ballot, click on the "Research the Candidates & Issues" tab, above. For voter information:


CALL 847-377-VOTE


Ve información para votantes en Lake County en español

Register to vote

CHECK to see if you're registered to vote at your current Lake County address.

To register, you must

  • be a United States citizen;
  • be 18 years old on or before the date of the election;
  • live in your election precinct at least 30 days prior to Election Day;
  • not be serving a sentence of confinement in any penal institution as a result of a conviction; and
  • not claim the right to vote anywhere else.

During the 27 days before an election, you are required to vote at the time of your registration. You may register when you vote early -or- register at your polling place on Election Day, November 3.

FIND early voting locations and hours 

FIND your voting place for November 3 (interactive map)


There are three options: You may vote by mail, vote early, or vote on Election Day. Because of the pandemic, the Illinois Secretary of State encourages all registered voters to avoid lines and crowds at polling places by voting by mail for the November 3, 2020, election. Voting by mail is secure: mail-in ballots are verified using the same methods that are used at polling places.

Vote by mail

Request your ballot: open to all registered voters; request by 5 PM October 29, 2020, for November 3 election.

  • Go to 
  • Log in with your name, house number (not street name), zip code, and date of birth
  • On the next screen, select “Request a Ballot by Mail”

Track your ballot

  • Go to 
  • Log in with your name, house number (not street name), zip code, and date of birth
  • On the next screen, select “Track My Mail Ballot November Election”

Complete your ballot

  • Read the instructions carefully to make sure you do not miss something or make a mistake.
  • Avoid stray or incomplete marks.
  • If you are confused about how to complete your ballot, contact the Lake County Clerk: CALL 847-377-8683 (VOTE) or EMAIL
  • Sign your ballot using the same signature you used when you registered to vote or last voted in person. Many people have a quick signature that they use every day for credit card purchases and a more formal/complete signature that they use on documents. For election security, your ballot signature must match the signature that is on file in the County Clerk's office. If you're not sure which you used, plan to vote in person — either early or on Election Day. 

NOTE: Your ballot will NOT be discarded if you haven't followed the ballot instructions! Election judges will send you a letter explaining how to correct your mistake and cast your votes.

Return your completed ballot, as soon as possible, one of two ways:

  1. To a secure ballot box, 24/7, postage-free >>> FIND the nearest ballot drop box (interactive map)
  2. By mail: Postmarked no later than Tuesday, November 3, and received by the County Clerk no later than November 17.

If you decide to vote in person after all

You may vote in person even if you received a mail-in ballot. Simply go to an early or designated voting site and surrender your mail-in ballot to the election judge when you check in OR, if you can't find your mail-in ballot, cast a provisional ballot at the voting site; the County Clerk will tally your provisional ballot once it is verified that you did not also cast a ballot by mail.

Vote early

Early voting began Monday, October 19, in Illinois. Any Lake County voter may visit an early voting site to register and/or cast their vote. Some locations offer evening and weekend hours.

FIND early voting locations and hours 
Note: the map defaults to only locations that are available today. To view all locations, including those that will be available in the future, slide the Filter button to the right.

Early voting ends Sunday, November 1 at most sites. Early voting ends Monday, November 2 at the Lake County Main Courthouse, Gurnee Village Hall, Jane Addams Center, and North Chicago City Hall.

For more information


Vote on Election Day

Polls are open 6 AM to 7 PM, Tuesday, November 3, 2020. As long as you are in line at your assigned polling place by 7 PM, you may vote. You may also register to vote at your assigned polling place. Use your assigned neighborhood site serving your address:

FIND your voting place (interactive map)

If you vote in person

You do not need a photo ID to vote in Illinois. (But it is a good idea to bring one anyway, since there are a few exceptions to this rule.)

An election worker will verify your identify by asking for your address and signature, which will be matched with the one captured on your voter registration. Hint: Be sure to sign the same way you did when you registered to vote. If you have a formal signature and a quick signature (as for credit cards), use the same one you did when you registered.

An election worker can ask for your photo ID if...

  • when you registered to vote, you sent your application in by mail
  • if you are registering to vote or changing your registration address at the voting site
  • an election judge is challenging your right to vote (this is rare)

You may bring notes or other printed material with you to the voting booth. This includes a sample ballot.

You may not take a selfie while voting! No photography is allowed in the voting site, per Illinois law. (In Illinois, sharing a photo of your marked ballot can result in a Class 4 felony.) Instead, take a picture of your "I voted" sticker after you've left or snap a picture of yourself in the parking lot of the polling place.

What's on my ballot?

Your address the local, county, and district offices and referenda that you get to vote on. To see a sample copy of your ballot, visit Enter your voter info, then select "What is on my ballot?"

Voter information

Common Voting & Election Terms: A glossary from defining common terms. Especially helpful for new voters.

Election Calendar: Includes all upcoming election dates for Lake County, Illinois, voters.

Federal Voting Assistance Program: Voting assistance for military service members, their families, and U.S. citizens overseas.

Illinois Board of Elections: A quick and easy way to find candidate filings and general election information, and to verify if you are registered to vote in Illinois.

Lake County Clerk’s Office Voter Services: The official website of the Lake County Clerk; includes answers to frequently asked questions like “Who can register to vote?” and “Where do I vote?”

Lake County Voter Information: Get answers to frequently asked questions.

Lake County Voter Power: View your sample ballot, districts, voting site, and a copy of your voter registration card by providing some basic information (name, date of birth, etc.).

Special Voter Circumstances: Useful information on how to vote in a variety of circumstances including from a hospital or nursing home.

2020 Election GuideĀ 

Screenshot of printable voter's guide

Download and print this guide, including:

  • how to register

  • where & when you can vote

  • your Voting Plan worksheet

Understanding Your Ballot: Mail-in Voting & Tax ReferendumĀ 

Get the info you need for the 2020 election: Lake County Clerk Robin O'Connor and current events expert Professor Gary Midkiff present. View this library program, on demand on YouTube.