Illinois State University’s Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) has organized step-by-step instructions to make sure students have registered properly to vote, are able to sift through nonpartisan resources, and are ready to make an informed decision to elect who best represents their interests. Here are some helpful guides, as provided by CCE.
The Primary Election
The next election in Illinois is a primary election that takes place on June 28, 2022.
A primary is an election that takes place before the general election. The purpose of a primary is to determine which candidates will be on the general election ballot. The June 28 primary will determine the candidates for the November 8 election.
During a partisan primary, voters pick their political party’s nominee for each elected office. In Illinois, if you wish to vote in a partisan primary, you must declare which political party’s primary you wish to vote in. This means if you pick the Republican primary, you receive a Republican ballot, and you cannot vote in the Democratic primary, and vice versa for all other parties. The candidate who wins the most votes wins that party’s nomination for that office and will be on the ballot for the general election.
Illinois is a same-day registration state, meaning individuals can register to vote at the same time they choose to vote early or vote on Election Day. Two forms of identification—listed below—are needed, and both must have the voter’s name while one must have the most current address. (For those wishing to vote on campus, one of the forms of ID must have your Illinois State address.)
- Passport or military ID
- Driver’s license or State ID card
- College/university/school/work ID
- Business mail postmarked to the applicant (including mail sent from ISU)
- Library card
- Vehicle registration card
- Lease, mortgage, or deed to the home
- Credit or debit card
- Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid card
- Insurance card
- Payroll check/personal check
- Voter registration card
- Social Security card
- Bank statement
- Birth certificate
- Utility bill in applicant’s name
Students living in residence halls:
A screenshot of your current address from the Illinois State University Student Service Center is considered one form of your ID.
For those wishing to register online, Illinois State partners with TurboVote, an online tool that guides users through the registration process. It tracks local, state, and federal elections to send personalized text and email reminders about how and when to vote in any upcoming election.
“TurboVote is a platform that helps facilitate students registering to vote, and it connects with the Illinois online voter registration system so it can all be done online,” said CCE Assistant Director Harriett Steinbach.
Online registration usually takes five days to process. Online voter registration for the Illinois primary election is available until June 12, 2022. Hopeful voters should check the status of their registration throughout.
The McLean County Clerk has information on specific times, dates, and early voting locations.
Voting by mail
Those who can’t make it to the polls or prefer not to vote in person on Election Day may request to vote by mail through TurboVote. Plan ahead if this is the preferred route. Allow time for it be mailed, and then subsequently mailed back and received. Ballots must be postmarked by Election Day.
To avoid any issues or concerns, mail your ballot as soon as possible.
Given that the primary is in late June, most students will not be on campus. However, voting by mail is an option for any students who want their voices to be heard in this community.
“It’s where you want your voice to matter,” said Steinbach, who noted how much students’ voices matter in Normal, too.
Election Day is June 28, 2022. Polling place hours are 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you are in line by 7 p.m., you are entitled to vote.
Not sure where to go to vote, Illinois voters can look up their polling place online after March 30, 2022.
Students can register and vote using their campus address or permanent (home) address. The State Board of Elections has information about polling places throughout Illinois.
Sifting through information
The Redbird Voter Guide has a toolkit that provides nonpartisan resources for students, faculty, and staff looking to make informed decisions.
Deciding voters can read about candidates for every race from gubernatorial to local county board. In addition, the Redbird Voter Guide offers a nonpartisan political ideology quiz if visitors to the site are unsure on where they stand on certain issues.
CCE encourages voters to be as well informed as possible, to talk to the right people, and to find credible news sources—whether they be online, TV, print, or social media.