Board of Election Commissioners for the City of Chicago

Commissioners

Langdon D. Neal, Chairman
Richard A. Cowen, Secretary/Commissioner
Marisel A. Hernandez, Commissioner

Lance Gough, Executive Director
Kelly Bateman, Asst. Executive Director

Home > For Voters > Become a Voter Registrar

Volunteer Deputy Registrars

Volunteer deputy registrars make vital contributions to the American electoral franchise. Registering voters encourages electoral participation and enhances our democracy. This information from the Illinois State Board of Elections provides an overview of the volunteer deputy registrar program.

Who may register voters?

 - Election Authorities (Election Boards & County Clerks); and 
 - Deputy Registrars, as appointed.

The following are automatically appointed as deputy registrars by the election authority:

 - Committeemen
 - Secretary of State driver's license facility employees
 - Municipal Clerks

The following may be appointed only upon written request:

 - Chief librarian or designee.
 - High school/elementary school principal or designee.
 - University/college president or designee.
 - State labor organization members.
 - Bona fide state civic organization members.
 - Health care and Family Services director or designated employees.
 - Employment Security director or designated employees.
 - Corporation president or designated employees (as defined by the Business Corporation Act of 1983).

When may deputy registrars accept voter registrations?

Deputy registrars may accept voter registrations at any time except during the 27-day period before each election. Registration is closed for two days after each election (one day after each election in Chicago).

To qualify to register to vote, a person:

 -  Must be a U.S. citizen;
 -  Must be at least 18 years of age by Election Day; 
 -  Must have been a resident of the precinct at least 30 days prior to Election Day;
 -  Must not be in jail serving time for a conviction; and
 -  Must not claim the right to vote anywhere else. 

When registering to vote, two forms of identification are required, and one must show the current address of the applicant.

Where may deputy registrars take voter registrations?

Deputy registrars from public libraries, high schools, elementary schools, or vocational schools, universities, colleges, community colleges, academy or institutions, public aid offices, and unemployment offices may accept registrations only at those respective locations. All others may register voters at any location.

How long is a deputy registrar appointment?

Appointments of deputy registrars, except precinct committeemen, shall be for 2-year terms, commencing on December 1 following the general election of each even-numbered year; except that the mid-term appointments shall be until December 1 following the next general election.

Appointments of precinct committeemen shall be for 2-year terms commencing on the date of the county convention following the general primary at which they were elected.

The County Clerk shall issue a certificate of appointment to each deputy registrar, shall maintain in his office for public inspection a list of the names of all appointees, and shall train all deputy registrars.

From whom may registrars take voter registration?

Most deputy registrars may now accept the registration of all qualified residents of the State. Deputy registrars must return completed registration materials to their appointing election authority. Completed registration materials returned by deputy registrars for persons residing outside the county shall be transmitted by the election authority to the proper jurisdiction.

How do civic organizations become certified by the state?

Civic organizations must file an application with the State Board of Elections. Applications for certification must be filed by the 90th day prior to each election. (The deadline for the March 20, 2012 Primary Election was Dec. 21, 2011. The deadline for the Nov. 6, 2012 General Election will be Aug. 8, 2012.)

What is "grace period" registration?

Grace Period Registration is an extension of the deadline for registration. Grace Period registration will be offered only in-person at the Chicago Election Board from Feb. 22 through March 13, 2012, and during that time, those who come to register must also vote at the same time. Click here for more information.

Important facts

Deputy registrars must be trained, take an oath, and be appointed as provided by state law.

Deputy registrars must be registered to vote in the jurisdiction in which they are appointed.

Deputy registrars must not engage in any form of electioneering while registering voters. This includes working for or against a proposition or candidate while conducting voter registration.

Deputy registrars can be removed for cause.

Deputy registrars must complete registration forms neatly and follow the specific directions of the election authority.

Deputy registrars must return completed registration materials within 7 days of completion.

If new registrations or cancellations are taken between the 28th and 35th day before the election, deputy registrars must return completed materials to the election authority within 48 hours.

If registrations or cancellations are taken on the last day for registration, deputy registrars must return all the registration material to the election authority within 24 hours.

The primary goal of the State Board of Elections is to help bring about greater understanding and participation in the electoral process.

For more information on election laws and procedures, you may write or call the State Board of Elections at:

1020 South Spring Street
Springfield, IL 62704
217.782.4141 / tty for the hearing impaired 217.782.1518

100 West Randolph, Suite 14-100
Chicago IL 60601
1.312.814.6440 / tty for the hearing impaired 1.312.814.6431