Election information

The Electoral College: How does it work and should it be updated?(video)

Political Science professor Kevin Navratil will discuss why the Electoral College was created, the process of electing the president, and benefits and drawbacks of this electoral system versus electing the president by a nationwide popular vote. This event is organized by the MVCC Democracy Commitment.

Voting Information for the November 3, 2020 Election

Key Dates for the November 3, 2020 Presidential Election

  Date  Event
  10/6/2020  Voter registration closes for deputy registrars and local election officials
  10/7/2020  First day of grace period registration and voting
  10/18/2020  Last day to register to vote by online application
  10/19/2020  First day of early voting
  10/29/2020  Last day to request a mail ballot, including military and overseas voters
  11/2/2020  Last day of early voting
  11/2/2020  Last day of grace period registration and voting
  11/3/2020  Last day mail in ballots can be postmarked or dropped off in a secure Mail Ballot Drop Box
  11/3/2020  Election Day

Vote by mail

Any registered suburban Cook County voter may request a mail ballot using the online application. Once your registration is verified and the application is processed, a paper ballot will be sent to the mailing address you designate in your application. The deadline to apply is five days before the election.

The Clerk’s Office will offer secure mail ballot drop boxes. Additionally, the Clerk’s office will offer an Election Day Drop Box in Daley Plaza in Chicago. Ballots may also be returned via USPS.

For the November 3, 2020 Presidential Election, traditional Early Voting will take place October 19-November 2

Early Voting locations and hours in suburban Cook County

If you live in the City of Chicago please visit chicagoelections.com for their Early Voting locations and other important information.

Election Day Voting

Registered suburban Cook County voters can only vote in their home precinct on Election Day.

Registered and unregistered Cook County residents can find their assigned polling place with the Your Voter Information tool.

Residents who are not registered to vote may register and cast a ballot on Election Day with same-day registration and voting. Those who wish to register on Election Day must present two qualifying forms of ID.

A voter who needs ID, but who cannot present ID, may cast a Provisional Ballot on Election Day. In order for that Provisional Ballot to be counted, the voter must present ID within 7 days of the election to the Cook County Clerk’s office, 69 W. Washington St., Suite 500, Chicago IL 60602.

Source COOK COUNTY CLERK’S OFFICE

Debunking Electoral College Myths

In most U.S. elections, the winner of the popular vote is the winner of the election. As we have seen many times, that is not always the case in the presidential election due to our Electoral College system. In particular, the winner-take-all laws in many states have resulted in the winner of the popular vote losing the election. This has led to millions of votes being effectively ignored and swing states, and swing state issues, carrying more weight than others.

Many people, for many years, have felt that the Electoral College system is unfair. It is a system that came about because of slavery and the result is that some votes count more than others. Since 1797, there have been roughly 800 attempts in Congress to get rid of the system. These have come from states both large and small and from both sides of the aisle. Defenders of the Electoral College point to reasons like: It protects small states. It’s what The Founders wanted. The way it works is written into the Constitution. Democrats will always win without it.

These are all myths. There is a way to fix it. Watch this short, informative video from The New York Times to find out more. To delve even deeper into the topic, these books from the MVCC Library are a great next step.

Illinois’ primary election continues through today

The March 17, 2020, Illinois primary election includes voting for the Democratic presidential primary, the race for Cook County State’s attorney, the Republican primary for U.S. Senate and the Democratic primary for Illinois Supreme Court, plus others. To register on election day, residents must bring two forms of identification, one with a current address, to your polling place for same-day voting. Polling places throughout Illinois are scheduled to be open until 7:00 PM today.

Prepare for the Primary: Find Your Polling Place and Research Candidates


The Illinois Primary Election is next week on Tuesday, March 17th! Here are a few links that may be useful as you prepare to vote:


Want to do even more research? Check out our Voting Research Guide!

Super Tuesday: 2020 Nomination Election Panel (video)

Political Science Professor’s Deron Schreck, Merri Fefles, and Kevin Navratil will examine the 2020 Nomination Elections, key races, the Illinois Primary and any other questions you may have about the 2020 Nomination Election. This is event is open to all and is sponsored by the by the Democracy Commitment.

Early Voting Information

For the March 17, 2020 Presidential Primary Election, traditional Early Voting will take place March 2-16

Early Voting locations and hours in suburban Cook County can be found here .

If you live in the City of Chicago please visit chicagoelections.com for their Early Voting locations and other important information.

What do you need to Early Vote?

  1. Voters do not need to provide an excuse or reason why they cannot vote on Election Day.
  2. Government-issued photo ID is not required but is helpful if there is a question about the voter’s registration, address or signature.  Providing an ID can also speed up the process because ID card readers are at every check-in station.

Important dates

 2/19/2020  First day of grace period registration and voting
  3/1/2020  Last day to register to vote by online application
  3/2/2020  First day of early voting
  3/12/2020 Last day to request a mail ballot, including military and overseas voters
 3/16/2020  Last day of early voting
 3/16/2020  Last day of grace period registration and voting
 3/17/2020  Last day mail ballots can be postmarked
 3/17/2020  Election Day
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