How to Vote Amid Covid-19

Election Day is quickly approaching: what are your options?

While many Americans are still stuck in March, the 2020 Presidential Election is quickly approaching. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020.  However, unlike years prior, this election is taking place during a pandemic, and there are some significant changes to the process. 

Here is everything you need to know about voting amid COVID-19.


Who can Vote?

To register to vote in Illinois you: 

  • must be a citizen of the United States 
  • must be a resident of Illinois and of your election precinct at least 30 days before the next election 
  • must be at least 18 years old on or before the election date
  • cannot be serving a sentence of confinement in any penal institution as a result of conviction of any crime 
  • are unable to claim the right to vote anywhere else

If you do not meet these requirements, you can pledge to register here.


Check Registration

A good place to start is to check if you are already registered to vote, which takes less than a minute. 

If you live in Lake County, you can do this by filling out the brief form here: You can also check your registration status here:


Register to Vote

If you are not already registered, you can register to vote either in person, online, or by mail.

You can register in person at the Fremont Township or the Lake County Clerk’s office.

To register to vote online, fill out the Illinois Online Voter Application here:

If you are not a resident of Illinois, you can register to vote online here:


Vote in Person

Vote on Election Day 

        Illinois registered voters can look up where to vote here

Vote early 

        Illinois voters can also vote before Election Day. The early voting period runs from Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020 to Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. 

        Based on where you live, dates and hours may differ. To find early voting period registration locations, click here

What to bring: 

        If you’ve voted in Illinois before, you don’t need to provide an ID.

        If you are a first-time voter who registered by mail, and you didn’t provide your driver’s license number, state ID number, last 4 digits of your Social Security number, a copy of a current ID or government document that shows your name and address when you registered, you’ll need to provide one of these when you vote. To fulfill this requirement, you can use:

  • a copy of a current and valid photo identification
  • a copy of a lease or contract for residence, student ID and mail addressed to your residence
  • a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that shows your name and address 

        Voters without ID: You can vote with a provisional ballot if you are unable to provide ID. After this, you will be informed how to submit additional proof of registration to the election authority. This additional information must be received by the close of business on the Tuesday following the election.


Vote by Mail

It is also possible to vote by mail, rather than going in person. If you decide to do this, you first will request your mail-in ballot with a mail ballot application. You can do so by clicking here.

After filling out the application completely, you must submit it to your local election authority. You can find out who your local election authority is here

You should request your ballot as early as possible. The deadline for it to be received is by Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. 

Once your ballot arrives, it is important to follow the instructions carefully to complete and return it.


Important Deadlines for Voting

You can sign up for election reminders here.

Nov. 3 is election day. 

Registration deadlines:

  • Oct. 18: Online registration deadline 
  • Oct. 6: Registration by mail deadline (must be postmarked by) 
  • Nov. 3: In-person deadline 

Absentee ballot deadlines 

  • Oct. 29: Deadline for requesting an absentee ballot 
  • Nov. 3: Deadline to return by mail (must be postmarked by) 

Additional information

Nov. 3: You can register and vote on Election Day. 

After the deadline of Oct. 6: After the regular voter registration deadline of Oct. 6, you can register and vote in person during a grace period, which begins the day after the deadline and runs through Election day. During this grace period, you can register and vote at your local election office, a permanent polling place, early voting sites, some polling places on election day, and any other location specifically designated for grace-period voting by your election authority.


Polling Place Locator

You can use a polling place lookup here.


Other Helpful Voting Resources

Listed below are a few helpful websites to check out to learn more about your vote this year.

Tori Nagode