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posted: 8/18/2014 3:00 PM

Voters can apply online for mail ballots for Nov. 4 election

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Submitted by the office of Cook County Clerk David Orr

Suburban Cook County voters may now apply online for mail ballots for the Nov. 4, 2014 General Election, Cook County Clerk David Orr announced.

Those who wish to apply for a mail ballot can do so from the Clerk's website:

"Voting by mail is a great opportunity to cast your ballot from the comfort of home," Orr said. "Although the election is still 90 days away, voters can request a ballot now and it will be delivered to your mailbox in early October."

A new law signed by Gov. Pat Quinn this summer moved to Aug. 6 the date that voters could begin applying for mail ballots.

Applying online takes less than a minute. Voters will need the last four digits of their Social Security number, their driver's license or state identification card, and an email address. Applying online eliminates two or three legs of the snail mail process, so it is the most efficient method for voters and the clerk's election division.

However, voters may also download a paper application, request an application by calling (312) 603-0946 or email

For voters using a paper form, the clerk's office will verify their eligibility and compare the signature on the application against the signature on the voter registration record before issuing a ballot. If a voter applies online, the system verifies their eligibility with the data they have provided. Regardless of how the voter applies, the signature on their ballot will be compared against the signature in their voter file before their ballot is counted.

The deadline to apply for a mail ballot is five days before the Nov. 4 election, which is Oct. 30. The mail ballots will be sent out beginning Sept. 25. The last day that mail ballots can be postmarked for acceptance at the Clerk's office is Nov. 3.