Registering to vote allows you to participate in the electoral process and gives you the power to make a difference in deciding who will serve in an elected office. You must be a registered voter in order to vote in any election.

Illinois voters do not need to register by political party or declare a political party membership or preference. However, voters may select a specific political party’s ballot at their polling place when voting in a primary election.

Cook County voter registration closes 28 days before an election.

For information on upcoming elections, please visit the Cook County Clerk - Election Homepage.

Voter Qualifications

To register to vote you must be:

  • A U.S. citizen;
  • At least 18 years old by the next election; and
  • A resident of your precinct at least 30 days prior to election day.

Register Online 

Register By Mail

You can complete a mail-in voter application form and return it to the Cook County Clerk’s office.

First-time voters who register by mail no longer have to vote in person the first time they vote. They can either vote in person or vote absentee by mail.

When submitting a voter registration application:

  1. Fill out the entire application;
  2. Sign the application; and 
  3. Mail the completed, signed application up to 28 days before an election to:

David Orr
Cook County Clerk
69 W. Washington, Room 500
Chicago, IL 60602