FAQs About Voting
Q: If the election officials know me,
must they ask me to present identification?
Q: What if I need assistance to vote my ballot?
A: Simply inform an election official that you need assistance. You may ask two election officials to assist you in marking your ballot, or another person of your choice may assist you. If you are physically unable to stand in line, you may request to advance to the front of the line.
- If you are disabled, an election official may not bring a ballot to your car. Plan ahead to vote absentee if you are physically unable to enter your polling site. Under no circumstances may a ballot leave the polling site.
Q: What if I make a mistake on my ballot?
A: If you have not yet put your ballot into the ballot box, you may ask an election official for another ballot. You will be asked to sign a Spoiled Ballot Affidavit. Do not hesitate to ask to start over. You may "spoil" up to two ballots and receive another (three ballots total). Once you drop your ballot in the ballot box, no changes can be made.
Q: What if I'm at the polls and my current address
differs from the one on the Precinct Voter List?
A: For you to vote a regular ballot,
- The election official must contact the county clerk, AND
- The county clerk must verify that your address is within that precinct.
If your new address is within the current precinct:
- You must complete a voter registration form to update county voter registration records.
If your new address is NOT within the current precinct:
- The election official must contact the county clerk to determine the proper voting precinct, then you must go to the new polling site to vote.
Q: What if my name is NOT on the Precinct Voter List at my polling site?
A: The poll worker will contact the county clerk to confirm your current registration status using your name, date of birth and current address.
- The election officials will verify that you are a qualified registered voter in that precinct.
- If you are registered but have moved outside the precinct, you may be re-directed to the correct polling site or you may vote a Provisional Ballot.
- If your name or address differs from the Precinct Voter List, you must complete a Voter
Registration Application form to update your voter record.
Q: What if my name is NOT on the Precinct Voter Registration List AND the election official cannot confirm my registration with the county clerk?
A: You may vote a Provisional Ballot after signing a written affirmation that you are a registered voter in the precinct in which you wish to vote and that you are eligible to vote in that election;
- The election official will provide written instructions on how to determine whether your vote was counted, and if not, why the vote was not counted, and
- The election official will note on the List of Voters all persons voting in this manner.
Q: What if my polling site is not wheelchair accessible?
A: The Americans With Disabilities Act requires all polling sites to be wheelchair accessible. Please call the State Board of Election Commissioners (800-411-6996) if you are uncertain about the accessibility of your polling site.
Q: Who can challenge my ballot?
A: Registered poll watchers (candidates, candidate representatives or representatives of parties or issues) are allowed inside the polls as observers. They may challenge the ballots of voters, usually based on identity, address or date of birth of the voter. In other words, a poll watcher may question whether a voter is who he says he is, lives at the stated address or is old enough to vote. The poll watcher may not speak directly to you or come within 6 feet of voting booths.
Q: What happens if a poll watcher challenges my ballot?
A: An election official must inform you that your ballot is being challenged by a poll watcher.
- The poll watcher must complete a Challenged Ballot Form.
- You must complete an "eligibility affirmation," which is simply a written statement that you are an eligible voter.
- You must vote on a paper ballot initialed by the election official.
- You must place the Provisional Ballot in a single envelope marked “Provisional Ballot” and seal it.
- The election official must maintain a separate list of names of provisional voters.
- All Provisional Ballots must be preserved, secured and separated from the remaining ballots so that the county board of election commissioners can verify registration and determine whether the votes may be counted.
- Before the results of the election are certified, the county board of election commissioners must determine whether the Provisional Ballots are valid. If the commissioners suspect that election laws have been violated, they may refer the matter to the prosecuting attorney.
Q: Are candidates allowed to solicit my vote outside my polling site?
A: Yes, "electioneering" is allowed outside the polls. However, it may not occur within 100 feet of the primary entrances of the buildings that contain polls.
- If a campaign worker or candidate approaches you within 100 feet of a poll, report the violation to the election officials at that poll immediately or contact your county board of election commissioners.
Q: If I have a problem or question about voting, whom do I call?
A: If you have a problem or question involving your registration information or registration status, contact your county clerk, who can help in cases such as:
- The time is nearing 30 days prior to an election, and you haven't received a voter ID card.
- Your name does not appear on the Precinct Voter Registration List at your poll, and the election officials cannot verify your registration with the county clerk.
- You have moved or changed your name, and you need to update your voter information.
Q: If I have a problem or question involving a poll worker, a poll watcher, or any Election Day procedure at a poll, whom do I call?
You will need to contact your county board of election commissioners in the county in which you are voting.