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WNIJ Voter’s Guide: What to know before you head to the polls


The June 28 primary election is around the corner and here is what you need to know before heading to the polls.

The 2020 census initiated the redrawing of political maps, which in some cases shifted blocks and neighborhoods into different districts and may usher in new representation.

Maps are redrawn so that districts represent roughly the same portion of the population in any given area.

Political considerations are also a factor as the majority party may draw the map to give themselves an advantage.

Districts may also be drawn to ensure that underrepresented groups such as African American and Latino voters have a greater opportunity to elect a candidate from their community.

For these reasons, state and congressional districts have, in some cases, odd shaped boundary lines.

How to check your voter registration

Go to the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Who is eligible to register to vote?

  • U.S. citizen
  • Must be 18 years old or 17 years old and 18 by the time of the general election
  • Must be a resident of the area, registering at least 30 days prior to Election Day.

Grace period registration

If you missed the online registration deadline (which was June 12, 2022) eligible voters can still register at an early voting site or on Election Day. Eligible voters will be required to vote at the time of registration.

What documents do you need to register?

  • At least two forms of identification with one showing your current residence address.
  • When registering by mail, you’ll be required to provide your driver’s license number or state ID number. You can also submit the last four digits of your Social Security number, and a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or other government document.

Vote by mail

The last day to request a vote by mail application is June 23 if sending by mail, or June 27 in-person. Voters do not need a reason for voting by mail as was required in the past. Ballots can be mailed in but must be postmarked by June 28 or delivered in-person at the local election authority. The ballot could also be delivered to your local county clerk’s office no later than June 28 or by the closing of the polls at 7 p.m.

Permanent vote by mail list

Registered voters may have received in the mail an application from their county election clerk to be added to a permanent vote by mail list. Once a voter is placed on the list, they will no longer have to apply every election for a vote by mail ballot.

Early voting sites

Early voting is available in most counties until June 27. Check your county clerk’s website or click on the links below in the primary ballot portion of the guide for locations and schedules.

Positions up for election

Federal level

United States Senator

Representatives in Congress

State level


Lieutenant Governor

Secretary of State

State Comptroller

State Treasurer

State Senators

State Representatives

Judges: Supreme Court, Appellate Court, Circuit Court

County level

County Clerk

County Treasurer

County Assessor

Members of Boards of Review

Regional Superintendent of Schools

County Commissioners (not under township organization)

County Board Members (under township organization)

Sanitary District Commissioners and Trustees

Board of Education Board Member

For a primary sample ballot and early voting site locations and schedules, check out your county clerk’s website.

To find your state and congressional district in the redistricting map of 2021, click here.

Finding candidates for judges

Judicial district maps were redistricted and approved by the governor in 2021, the first time since 1964 the maps have been redrawn. The Illinois State Bar Association offers a list of judicial candidates at the Illinois Appellate and Supreme Court level with the organization’s rating of “Not Recommended,” “Recommended,” or “Highly Recommended.” It’s important to note that the judges which will appear on the ballot depends on the political party one declares when voting in the primary. In the Illinois State Bar Association judge guide, it does not indicate what party each judge is affiliated with.

To check out the list of judicial candidates by your county, click here.

To find what county district you belong in the new redistricting maps, click on your county below:

A Chicago native, Maria earned a Master's Degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois Springfield . Maria is a 2022-2023 corps member for Report for America. RFA is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities. It is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, a nonprofit journalism organization. Un residente nativo de Chicago, Maria se graduó de University of Illinois Springfield con una licenciatura superior en periodismo de gobierno.