MAR 07, 2023
Runoff election FAQs: Who can vote, where can you vote and what if you moved or changed your name?
A Chicago voter participates in the 2022 primary. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]
Ahead of the municipal runoff election in less than a month, voters may be wondering when they can register, how they can vote or where they should vote if they’ve moved since the Feb. 28 election.
Monday was the first day for people to apply online for a Vote By Mail ballot for the April 4 runoff. Voters can also apply in person by filling out a form at the Chicago Board of Elections (BOE) on the sixth floor at 69. W. Washington St.
The last day to apply for a mail-in ballot is March 30, and the earliest date to expect a mailed ballot to arrive is March 17.
According to the Board of Elections, only voters already on the permanent Vote By Mail roster will automatically receive a new ballot for the runoff. Voters not on the roster who want to vote with a mail-in ballot need to apply again, even if they voted by mail for the Feb. 28 election.
The Chicago Board of Elections “must wait until March 14 to count all late-arriving properly postmarked Vote By Mail ballots and Provisional ballots from the February 28th Municipal Election” by law, according to the BOE website. The board expects to finish the Canvass of Returns and release a final Official Proclamation of Results by March 15. After that, early voting may begin.
Early in-person voting for the runoff is expected to begin March 20 at all 50 ward voting centers and the Board Supersite at 191 N. Clark St. Voters can visit any of those sites during the early voting period and on Election Day and get a ballot, regardless of what precinct they live in.
If a person changed addresses after voting in the Feb. 28 election, where a person votes in the runoff will depend on when they moved.
If someone moved to a new address on or before March 5, they must vote at the precinct polling place for their current address in the runoff. People can update their registration and vote at their new polling place using two forms of acceptable ID, at least one of which must show their current address.
If someone moved within Chicago since March 5, the person must vote at the precinct polling place for their old address or any of the 50 ward voting centers or the supersite.
Someone does not need to have been registered or have voted in the Feb. 28 municipal election in order to vote in the runoff.
While the deadline for paper voter registration applications closes March 7, online registration is ongoing and closes March 19. Same day voter registration is available at all early voting locations and all Election Day precinct polling places, according to Chicago Board of Elections spokesperson Max Bever.
If someone needs to file a name or address change, they may do so at any early voting location; at their precinct polling place on Election Day; or at any of the 50 ward voting sites or the Board Supersite.
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