Langdon D. Neal, Chairman
Richard A. Cowen, Secretary/Commissioner
Marisel A. Hernandez, Commissioner
Lance Gough, Executive Director
Kelly Bateman, Asst. Executive Director
Q: What and who are on the ballots for the April 9, 2013 Special Election?
A: Only the candidates for U.S. Representative in the Second Congressional District Special Election. No other offices or referenda questions will be on the ballot.
Q: Who is eligible to vote in the Second Congressional District Special Election on April 9, 2013?
A: Only voters whose registration addresses are inside the Second Congressional District. This map shows the Chicago portions of the Second Congressional District.
Q: What hours will the polls be open on April 9, 2013?
A: All polling places within the Second Congressional District in the City of Chicago are to be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9, 2013 for this Special Election.
Q: What other options do I have to vote?
A: Any Chicago voter whose registration address is in the Second Congressional District may use the option of Early Voting at any Early Voting site in the city. Early Voting will be offered March 25 through April 6, 2013. Sites and hours will be listed here.
Chicago voters in the Second Congressional District also have the option of Absentee Voting by mail. No reason or excuse is needed for absentee voting.
There are no do-overs. Once a voter casts a ballot in an election using any method (Early Voting, Absentee Voting or Election Day Voting), it is illegal for that voter to cast another ballot or even attempt to cast another ballot in that same election.
Q: Who is eligible to vote?
A: Only currently registered voters whose registration addresses are in the Second Congressional District are eligible to vote. To register, a person must be: (1) a U.S. citizen; (2) at least 18 years of age on Election Day; and (3) a resident of the precinct 30 days before the election. Click here for more information on registering to vote.
The deadline to register to vote for the Special Election is March 12, 2013. For those who miss the deadline, in-person Grace Period registration will be offered at the Election Board from March 13 through April 6, 2013.
Q: Which polling place may I use to vote?
A: On Election Day you must go only to the polling place and precinct assigned to your precinct. Click here to search for the polling place by the voter's address.
Q: Similar to Early Voting, can a voter go to any site in Chicago to vote on Election Day?
A: No. On Election Day, every voter must vote at the polling place assigned to his or her precinct. You may find your polling place or check your voter-registration status for any Chicago address here.
Q: Where can I call if there is a problem at my polling place with registration, equipment, electioneering in the campaign-free zone or any other issue?
A: On Election Day, Chicago voters should contact our Election Central hotlines at 1.312.269.7870.
Q: If I participated in the Special Primary, will my vote also count in the Special Election?
A: No. A ballot cast in the Primary only helps determine that Primary contest. In order for a vote to count in the Special Election, the voter must cast a ballot in the Special Election.
Q: What is a Provisional Ballot? When are Provisional Ballots counted?
A: If the judges cannot locate a voter registration record for a person, they:
- Verify that the person's address is within the precinct by looking at the precinct map, precinct outline, poll list or by calling the registration hotline;
- Call the registration hotline to find out if the person is registered to vote in their precinct.
- If the person's residence address is outside the precinct, inform the person of that fact, give the person the appropriate telephone number for the Board to locate the correct polling place for that person's residence and instruct the person to go to the proper polling place to vote.
If the voter insists, even after being told that the voter is in the wrong precinct, the judges should inform the voter that if the voter casts a Provisional Ballot in the wrong precinct, that ballot will not be counted.
Reasons for voting a Provisional Ballot include:
- No registration record found in the precinct;
- Voter is challenged and the judges uphold the challenge;
- First time mail-in registrant who is required to provide ID but does not have proper ID.
Voters also have until 5 p.m. on the Thursday immediately following Election Day to submit any supporting documents to the Election Board to show that they were valid registered voters in the precinct where they cast the provisional ballots.
Provisional ballots are separated from others cast on Election Day. After Election Day, Board employees evaluate provisional ballot applications in a public process to determine whether the corresponding ballot can be released into the count. The ballot itself is not visible during this evaluation process.
Q: Do employers have to give employees time off from work to vote?
A: Yes, employees are entitled to two hours off work:
- The employee must give the employer notice prior to Election Day. (The Election Code does not specify what type of notice is required);
- The employer may specify the 2-hour period during which the employee may be absent;
- The employer must permit a 2-hour absence during hours if the employee's working time starts before 7:59 a.m. (within two hours of the opening of polls) and the end time is after 5:01 p.m. (within two hours of the closing of polls).
No employer shall refuse an employee the privilege of time off from work. No employer shall subject the employee to a penalty, including a reduction in compensation, due to such an absence from work.
Q: If I make a mistake while voting, can I correct it?
A: If you have not yet cast your ballot and you notice a mistake in your selection on the touch screen, go back and touch that choice again and then correct your selection. If you make a mistake on a paper ballot, you must ask the judge for a new paper ballot. Once you have cast your touch screen or paper ballot, there is no retrieving or replacing of that ballot.
Q: If I voted in Early Voting or Absentee Voting and changed my mind, may I vote again on Election Day to cancel out my first ballot?
A: No. Once a voter casts a ballot, the voter cannot cast another ballot. If you make a mistake and discover it before casting your ballot, you may correct it on the touch screen - or ask the judge for a new paper ballot.
It is a felony to vote more than once in the same election. It is also a felony to attempt to vote more than once in the same election.
Q: How are the vote totals tabulated and reported on Election Night?
A: This question-and-answer document details how vote totals from Early Voting, Absentee Voting and Election Day Voting in the polling places are tabulated, merged and reported on Election Night after the polls close.