Mover's Guide: Illinois

August 10, 2010

Board of Elections: 217-782-4141

I moved from the address at which I am registered.  What should I do?

I moved from another state.

If you moved to Illinois from another state, you must register to vote in Illinois to be able to vote.[1]  Unless you register in person at the office of the election authority, the last day to register is twenty-eight days before the election.[2]  You can also register in person at the office of the election authority during “grace period” registration, which ends on the seventh day before the election.[3]

If you moved from out of state, you are only eligible to register if you have been a resident of Illinois and the election district in which you want to vote for at least thirty days prior to the day of the election in which you want to vote.[4]  But under federal law, if you move within thirty days of a presidential election, you are allowed to vote for President of Vice President in your former state of residence, either in person or by absentee ballot.[5]

I moved within Illinois.

Scenario One: New Address, but Same Precinct 

If you moved in-precinct during the 27-day period before the election within the precinct, you can vote a regular ballot.[6]

At least one election authority informed us that most election officials allow you to vote a full ballot if you move in-precinct within 30 days before an election, but will provide you a ballot for federal offices only if your in-precinct move occurred more than 30 days before the election.[7]

When you vote, you will be required to fill out an application and maybe other forms.[8]

Scenario Two: New Address in Same County or City but New Precinct

If you moved more than 30 days before an election, you can vote for federal offices only at your old polling place. When you vote, you will be required to fill out an address correction form.[9]

If you moved within 30 days before an election, you can vote a regular ballot (federal, state, and local offices) at the polling place associated with your old address.  When you vote, you will be required to sign an affidavit.[10]

Scenario Three: New Address in New County or City

If you moved to a new address in a different county or congressional district (or different city, if the city board of election commissioners maintains the permanent registration records) more than 30 days before the election, you should complete a new registration form to update your registration records.[11]

If you moved to a new address in a jurisdiction in Illinois within 30 days before the election, you can vote a regular ballot at the polling place associated with your old address after filling out an affidavit.[12]


[1] See 10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/4-1, 5/5-1 (2010).

[2] 10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/4-6, 5/5-5, 5/6-29.

[3] 10 Ill. Comp. Stat 5/4-50, 5/5-50, 5/6-100.

[4] 10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/3-1.  

[5] 42 U.S.C. § 1973aa-1(e) (2010).

[6] Illinois State Board of Elections, Ballot Entitlement for the General Election – November 4, 2010, available at http://www.elections.il.gov/Downloads/ElectionInformation/PDF/BallotEntNov2010.pdf.

[7] Telephone Interview with local election authority, County Clerk, in Illinois. (Aug. 27, 2010) (on file with Brennan Center).

[8] Illinois State Board of Elections, Ballot Entitlement for the General Election – November 2, 2010, available at http://www.elections.il.gov/Downloads/ElectionInformation/PDF/BallotEntNov2010.pdf.

[9] Illinois State Board of Elections, Ballot Entitlement for the General Election – November 2, 2010, available at http://www.elections.il.gov/Downloads/ElectionInformation/PDF/BallotEntNov2010.pdf.

[10] Illinois State Board of Elections, Ballot Entitlement for the General Election – November 2, 2010, available at http://www.elections.il.gov/Downloads/ElectionInformation/PDF/BallotEntNov2010.pdf.

[11] Illinois State Board of Elections, Ballot Entitlement for the General Election – November 2, 2010, available at http://www.elections.il.gov/Downloads/ElectionInformation/PDF/BallotEntNov2010.pdf.

[12] Illinois State Board of Elections, Ballot Entitlement for the General Election – November 2, 2010, available at http://www.elections.il.gov/Downloads/ElectionInformation/PDF/BallotEntNov2010.pdf.