Election Day 2019: What you need to know to vote
Election Day is upon us, giving voters a final chance to decide on leaders who will set priorities for local schools and towns and help establish how much people in the suburbs pay for property taxes.
Though local elections have a direct effect on people in the suburbs, turnout often is low. For instance, turnout in the last local elections in 2017 averaged about 20 percent of registered voters, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections. That compares to last November's midterm election, when turnout was 57 percent across the state.
To be decided today are some suburban mayors and municipal boards, school boards, referendums, park boards and library boards.
Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. today. Here are some things that might help when you cast your ballot. Be sure to check back at dailyherald.com for election results after the polls close.
On the ballot
Before heading to the polls, you can check online to see what races and questions are on your ballot. Sample ballots can be found on county election websites for Cook County at cookcountyclerk.com, DuPage County at dupageco.org, Kane County at kanecountyclerk.org, Lake County at lakecountyil.gov, McHenry County at mchenrycountyil.gov and Will County at thewillcountyclerk.com.
You can also double-check your polling place and verify that you are registered to vote.
Can I still register?
Yes. U.S. citizens who have lived at their current addresses for more than 30 days and are at least 18 can register on Election Day. New voters must bring two forms of identification, which can include a passport, military ID, driver's license, copy of mortgage or deed, Social Security card, Illinois Firearm Owners Identification card or a school, college or work ID. Voters without proper identification can also cast provisional ballots, but that requires a voter to return within seven days and produce the proper ID requirements.
Can I bring a newspaper and phone to the poll?
Newspapers, yes. Phones, maybe. Feel free to bring along a copy of the Daily Herald's endorsements when you vote. There is no state law against using your phone in the voting booth, but county election officials can set their own rules, state election officials warn.
Where do college students vote?
College students can vote at their campus address or their home address, but they should make sure their choice doesn't jeopardize any scholarships that have residency requirements, according to vote.org.
What about electioneering?
No one is allowed to campaign for a candidate or question within 100 feet of the entrance to a polling place, among other Election Day rules. On Election Day, any suspicious or illegal behavior can be reported to the attorney general's office via a hotline at (866) 536-3496.