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What are the voter registration requirements?

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen
  • Must be at least 18 years of age by election day
  • Must have been a resident of the precinct at least 30 days prior to election day

When may I register to vote?

Registration is open year round except during the 27-day period just prior to an election

Where can I register to vote?

  • County Clerk’s Office
  • City and Village offices
  • Alton Public Library

And when applying for services at the following:

  • Driver’s License Facilities
  • Department of Healthcare and Family Services
  • Department of Public Health offices
  • Department of Human Services offices

What forms of identifications are needed when I register to vote?

Two forms of identification with one showing your current residence address. If you register by mail, you must vote in person the first time you vote.

Do I ever have to re-register?

No, not unless you:

  • Move to a different address
  • Change your name

Will I automatically be registered to vote when I renew my driver’s license?

No. But you will be given the opportunity to register to vote. If you are already registered to vote, there is no need to register again unless you change your name or move.

So I can register to vote by mailing an application to Madison County Clerk’s Office?

Yes. Under federal law, citizens may apply to register to vote by mailing in an application. The applications are available at some public and private facilities where you live. When you register by mail your mail-in form must be postmarked prior to the close of registration. Contact your local election office to learn more about registering by mail.

If I mail in an application to vote, can I vote by absentee ballot?

Unless a person has a disability or who is in the military, those registering by mail must vote in person at the polling place or by in person absentee voting the first time they vote.

Can I register at a public assistance office?

Yes. Any person who requests public assistance will be given an opportunity to register to vote. Again, if you are already registered,  there will be no need to register again unless you changed your name or move.

When can I consider myself officially registered to vote?

As soon as you receive a voter ID card in the mail, you can consider yourself registered. If you do not receive an ID card within 3 weeks after you registered, call your Madison County Clerk’s Office.

What if I change my name after being registered?

Any registered voter who changes his or her name by marriage or otherwise is required to re-register and authorize the cancellation of the previous registration; but if the voter still resides in the same precinct he/she can, if otherwise qualified, vote upon making an affidavit at the polling place attesting that the voter is the same person who is registered to vote under his or her former name. The affidavit will be treated by the election authority as authorization to cancel the registration under the former name, and the election authority will register the person under his or her current name.

What if I move, can I still vote?

It depends on when you move. If you moved within 27 days of the election in the same precinct you can vote a full ballot by signing an affidavit.

If you moved more than 30 days before the election within the county or municipality under a board of election commissioners, and did not transfer your registration, you can vote on a ballot for federal offices only, after completing an address correction form.

If you moved within 30 days before the election outside of your precinct, but you still live in the State, and did not transfer your  registration, you can vote a full ballot in your old polling place after completing an affidavit.

If you moved more than 30 days before the election out of your county or municipality under the board of election commissioners and did not transfer your registration, you cannot vote.


Knowingly giving, lending, or promising to give or lend any money or other valuable consideration to any other person to vote for or against any candidate or public question is a Class 4 felony.

Any unusual activity or irregularity associated with any voting procedure should be reported immediately to proper authorities.

State Board of Elections

A primary goal of the State Board of Elections is to help bring about greater understanding and participation in the electoral process. Authorities on Illinois elections are available as speakers for civic organizations, school groups and the general public.

For more information on election laws and procedures, write or call the State Board of Elections.

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