Voting by Mail

Who may vote by mail?

  • Any qualified elector of the State of Illinois who is properly registered to vote may apply for a vote by mail ballot without specifying any reason for their absence on Election Day.
  • Any registered or non-registered member of the United States Armed Forces while on active duty, members of the Merchant Marines, and/or U.S. Government employee serving outside the U.S., as well as his/her spouse and dependent(s)* who expect to be absent from their county of residence on Election Day may apply for a vote by mail ballot.
  • Any registered and non-registered citizen of the United States, temporarily out of the country, and his/her spouse and dependent(s) of voting age when residing with or accompanying him/her, who maintain a precinct residence in a county in this State may apply for a vote by mail ballot.
  • Any State or federal employee (and their spouse) who had a voting residence in the precinct at the time he/she entered employment, but who now resides elsewhere due to state or federal employment, may retain his/her voting rights in that precinct.

*Dependent children of military members who have never resided in Illinois are eligible to vote and may also vote by mail.

How do I obtain a Vote by Mail Application form?

A voter must obtain an application for a vote by mail ballot, either by mail, in person or online by electronic form from the East St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners or his/her election authority (county clerk or board of election commissioners).  St. Clair County, Illinois voters who live outside the city limits of East St. Louis should contact the St. Clair County Clerk’s office at 618-277-6600.

Upon receiving the application, the voter completes and returns it to the East St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners or to his/her election authority.  It must include his/her name; home address; address where he/she wants the ballot mailed; party affiliation for a primary election; and signature*.

The completed application must then be returned to the East St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners or to his/her election authority no later than the Thursday before an election for a ballot to be mailed to the voter.  Such ballot shall be delivered to the elector only upon separate application by the elector for each election.

*If the application is made electronically and the applicant has properly filled it out, a signature is not required.

Submit an online Vote by Mail Application Form

April 2017 Consolidated Election Vote-By-Mail Ballot Application

When can an application be made to vote by mail?

  • In Person: Not more than 90 days nor less than one (1) day prior to the election.
  • By Mail inside the U.S.: Not more than 90 days or less than five (5) days prior to the election.
  • By Mail outside the U.S.: Not less than 30 days prior to the election to receive full ballot or less than 30 days prior to the election but more than ten (10) days prior to the election to receive a Federal Ballot, only.

Can the Vote by Mail Application be reproduced?

Yes.  Any person may produce, reproduce, distribute or return to the East St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners or to an election authority the application for a vote by mail ballot.

When does the voting by mail actually start?

Military and overseas voters may start voting by mail 45 days prior to each election, while everyone else may start voting by mail 40 days prior to each election.

Military and overseas voters (for instructions on registering to vote and requesting vote by mail ballots as well as the forms necessary to do so):

  • see U.S. Department of Defense Federal Voting Assistance Program at https://www.fvap.gov/

OR

  • see Illinois State Board of Elections information on Military and Overseas Voting at http://www.elections.il.gov/VotingInformation/Military.aspx

Can anyone who requested a vote by mail ballot vote at the polls on Election Day?

A person who has requested a vote by mail ballot cannot be permitted to vote in the polling place on Election Day, unless one of the following exceptions apply:

  • The voter submits to the election judges their vote by mail ballot or a portion of the ballot for cancellation;
  • The voter fills out an affidavit stating that they never received the vote by mail ballot;
  • The voter fills out an affidavit stating they completed and returned the vote by mail ballot and the election authority did not receive it;

If the voter admits receiving a vote by mail ballot, but did not return it to the election authority, he or she would only be eligible to vote provisionally.

I am permanently disabled.  Can I vote a vote by mail ballot in every election?

For further information about being included on the permanently disabled list of voters to receive a vote by mail ballot for each election please contact:

East St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners
301 River Park Drive, Suite 300
East St. Louis, Illinois 62201
Phone: 618.482.6672
Fax: 618.271.8194

Regular Office Hours: Monday through Friday
8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.

Must ballots be returned by mail?

No.  A voter may authorize any person to return their ballot to the election authority, as long as the voter has signed the affidavit on the ballot envelope affirming that authorization was given to deliver the ballot.

IMPORTANT FACTS:

Voting by mail includes the same obligations as those who vote in the polling place on Election Day.  After completing the application, voters must vote their ballot in complete secrecy.

The affidavits on the application and the ballot envelope must be signed.  These affidavits attest to the accuracy of the information provided on the application.  The affidavit on the envelope also attests to the fact that the voter is voting his/her own ballot in secret.

Any vote by mail ballot must be placed into the certification envelope provided.  The certification on the envelope must be completed, signed and the envelope sealed.  Mailed ballots must be postmarked no later than Election Day and must be received within 14 days of the election.  All vote by mail ballots are processed centrally.

If the voter receives assistance in voting their ballot, the name and address of the individual providing the assistance must be placed on the ballot certification envelope.  Remember that a candidate is NOT allowed to assist a voter unless the candidate is a spouse, parent, child or sibling of that voter.