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Register to Vote

Register to Vote

Voter Registration Requirements

  • 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

When May I Register to Vote?

Regular registration is open year round with the following exceptions:

  • During the 27-day period just prior to an election, or 16 days prior through the online paperless voter applications available on the Illinois State Board of Elections website.
  • Grace period registration is an extension of the regular registration deadline from the 27th day prior to an election through Election Day.  Grace period registration is only available “in-person” at the Bureau County Clerk’s Office.
  • During the 2 days after such election (1 day after in Chicago)

Where Can I Register to Vote?

If you live in Bureau County, you can register at the Office of the Bureau County Clerk.  The office is located at the Bureau County Courthouse, 700 S. Main St., Princeton, IL 61356 (First Floor).  You may call us at  815-875-2014.

Required Identification to Register

  • You must submit with the application either (i) a copy of a current and valid photo identification, or (ii) a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and address.
  • If you do not provide the information required above, then you will be required to provide election officials with this information the first time you vote at a polling place or by in-person absentee ballot.
  • If you register by mail, you must also vote in person the first time, either at the polling place or in-person absentee.

Do I Ever Have to Re-register?

No, not unless you:

  • Move to a different address
  • Change your name

Will I Automatically be Registered to Vote when I Renew my Driver’s License?

No. But you will be given the opportunity to register to vote.  If you are already registered to vote, there is no need to register again unless you change your name or move.

Can I Register to Vote by Mailing an Application to my Election Office?

Yes.  Under federal law, citizens may apply to register to vote by mailing in an application.  Click here to download the application. Applications are also available at some public and private facilities where you live.  When you register by mail your mail-in form must be postmarked prior to the close of registration.  Contact your local election office to learn more about registering by mail.

If I Mail in an Application to Vote, can I Vote by Absentee Ballot?

Unless disabled or in the military, persons who register by mail must vote in person at the polling place or by in-person absentee voting the first time they vote.

When can I Consider Myself Officially Registered to Vote?

As soon as you receive a voter ID card in the mail, you can consider yourself registered.  If you do not receive an ID card within 3 weeks after you registered, call your elections office.

What if I Change my Name after being Registered?

If you changed your name more than 28 days before the election and did not re-register, you must update your voter registration in order to vote.

A person who changed his or her name within 28 days of the election, and still lives in the same precinct, may vote after completing an affidavit.  A woman who continues to use her maiden name after marriage may vote without having to complete an affidavit if registered under her maiden name.

If I Move, can I still Vote?

It depends on when you move.  If you moved within 27 days of the election in the same precinct you can vote a full ballot by signing an affidavit.

If you moved more than 30 days before the election within the county or municipality under a board of election commissioners, and did not transfer your registration, you may update your registration through Election Day using the grace period registration and voting, or you can vote on a ballot for federal offices only, after completing an address correction form.

If you moved within 30 days before the election outside of your precinct, but you still live in the State, and did not transfer your registration, you may update your registration to your new address through Election Day and do grace period registration and voting, or you can vote a full ballot in your old polling place after completing an affidavit.

If you moved more than 30 days before the election out of your county or municipality under the board of election commissioners and did not transfer your registration, you can only vote by re-registering from your new address.