Mail Voting Frequently Asked Questions

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Mail Voting Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I apply for a Mail Ballot?

The fastest way to apply is to use our Online Mail Ballot Application:

2. When should I apply?

The official deadline to apply is October 29. However, to ensure timely receipt of your ballot, it’s best to apply by Monday, October 26th.

3. If I apply for a Mail Ballot and decide to vote in-person, is that allowed?

As of today, both in-person Early Voting and in-person Election Day Voting are open to all voters in Illinois.

Once we have sent you a Mail Ballot, you will be placed on the WHO VOTED LIST. The Who Voted List is a voter fraud prevention measure on our end. This means, unless you take your Mail Ballot with you and surrender it to the judges – either at Early Voting or on Election Day at your polling place – you will be required to vote a Provisional Ballot. Once the Provisional Ballot comes back to our office and is researched, when we can confirm that you didn’t vote any other way, the Provisional Ballot will be accepted.

If a voter takes their Mail Ballot with them and surrenders it to Election Judges, the voter will be able to cast a ballot at the polling place with no problem at all.

Mail Voting can be a backup plan for voters. You are not excluded from voting in-person just because you signed up to Vote By Mail.

4. I applied for a Mail Ballot and it said my ‘Registration is not found.’ What do I do?

Please send an email to with your:

  • Full Name
  • Birthdate
  • Address

Our team will research your registration and provide you an explanation as to how to successfully apply online.

5. When are the Mail Ballots being mailed out?

The ballots will be mailed out beginning September 24 – October 5, 2020.

6. With all that’s happening with the USPS, will Suburban Cook County offer secure drop boxes for Mail Ballots?

Yes, voters can find secure drop box locations on our website at:

7. When are the ballots going to be counted?

The ballots are held in a secure location until the Clerk’s Office is legally able to begin counting them, which is determined by Illinois statute.

8. If my ballot doesn’t arrive at your office on November 3rd, is it still counted?

All ballots that are postmarked by November 3, 2020 and arrive at our office by November 17, 2020 are counted.

9. The mailing address for my ballot has changed. How can I update it?

In order to change the Mailing Address of a Mail Ballot, an email with the following information needs to be sent to:

  • Your Full Name
  • Your Birthdate
  • The WRONG Mailing Address for the Ballot
  • The RIGHT Mailing Address for the Ballot

The email will be used to update the Mailing Address for your Mail Ballot.

10. How can I cancel my Mail Ballot?

In order to cancel your Mail Ballot for the November 2020 General Election, please send an email with the following information to:

  • Your Name
  • Your Birthdate
  • Your Address

Simply request that your Mail Voting Request be CANCELLED.


The preceding information is from the Elections Division of the Office of Cook County Clerk Karen A. Yarbrough. A PDF version of this information is available at Voting Frequently Asked Questions_0.pdf

2020-10-16T10:20:27+00:00 October 16th, 2020|Categories: News|