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Ballots

  • When available, registered voters can log on to LakeVoterPower.info to preview and print a personalized sample ballot to be used as a reference.
  • Lake County uses only paper ballots -- preprinted or printed on demand in the voting site.
    In a primary election, you are required to declare a party before receiving a ballot. You may select any party, regardless of how you voted in the past.
  • If you do not wish to declare a party in the primary and a public question is on your ballot, a nonpartisan ballot will be available.
  • You don’t have to vote every race.
  • Vote only the number of choices allowed in each race.
  • Illinois election law requires the ballot counter to alert you if you do not vote every statewide constitutional office. You can choose to cast your ballot with the unvoted office. All your other votes will be counted.
  • If you voted early or by mail, you may not vote again on Election Day.
  • No ballot may be retrieved or changed once it is placed in the ballot bin.
  • If you have any questions about the correctness of your ballot, ask the election judges BEFORE you cast your ballot.

Preprinted Ballots


Preprinted ballots are used in:
  • Early voting sites when you choose a location close to home
  • All Election Day voting sites
Election judges will verify your identity, match your signature to your voter registration record, and issue a preprinted ballot.

Using the provided pen, completely fill in the oval next to your choices.

How to Vote on an Optical Scan Ballot 

Print on Demand Ballot


Print on demand ballots are provided to early voters who use the ADA equipment or a voting site far from home.

How to Vote using a Print on Demand Ballot


  • Election judges will verify your identity, match your signature to your voter registration record, and issue a blank ballot stock.
  • Insert your blank ballot stock into ballot marking equipment, and the screen will show you your choices in each race.
  • Select your candidates using the touch-screen features.
  • After you finish making your choices, select the option to print your ballot.
  • Your ballot will be returned to you as it is only marked, not cast.
  • Place your ballot inside the privacy sleeve leaving the election judge’s initials uncovered and proceed to ballot counter.
  • An election judge will verify your ballot bears another judge’s initials.
  • Place ballot in ballot counter.

Ballot Colors in a Primary

  • Democratic ballots have a black heading.
  • Republican ballots have a white heading.
  • Nonpartisan ballots have a gray heading.

Ballot Styles


Boundaries for units of government, schools, parks, libraries, fire and water districts intersect and create many unique ballot style combinations. So, your ballot may be different than your neighbor’s ballot and will list only the candidates and issues for the districts serving your address.

Election Cycles


Even-Numbered Years


General Primary Election
3rd Tuesday in March 
Nominate federal, state, legislative, judicial, county and North Shore Water Reclamation District candidates. Elect precinct committeemen and Lake Forest municipal candidates. Vote for any referenda
 
General Election
1st Tuesday following the first Monday in November 
Elect federal, state, legislative, judicial, county and North Shore Water Reclamation District candidates.  Vote for any referenda

Odd-Numbered Years


Consolidated Primary Election
Last Tuesday in February
Nominate established political party candidates and vote for referenda.

Consolidated Election 
1st Tuesday in April
Elect municipal, township, park, library, school, college, other special purpose district candidates. Vote for referenda.

Election Security


The optical scan voting system leaves a secure paper trail and minimizes the risk against outside interference as no electronic votes are ever cast. All voting results can be accurately reproduced by re-inserting the voted paper ballots through the ballot counter.

After the Election Day polls close, election judges activate the ballot counter to tabulate your votes, print a results tape, and transmit totals to the Clerk’s office.

Electioneering


At every voting site, an orange cone is placed 100’ from the door of the room where voting occurs and marks the “No Electioneering” zone. In this area, voters, candidates, poll watchers, or election workers cannot show support or opposition for candidates or questions on the ballot. This includes brochures, conversations, signs, clothing, hats, buttons, etc.

Is Photo ID Required?


No, you do not provide ID if you are correctly registered with your current name and address and if your signature on the application at the time of voting matches the signature on your original registration record.

You will be asked to provide ID if you:
  • Registered by mail, did not provide ID at that time, and are voting for the first time.
  • Used a different style signature on your ballot application than what is recorded on your voter registration record.
  • Are marked as an inactive voter because of an address change you filed with U.S. Postal Service.
  • Are updating your name and/or address or registering for the first time under Grace Registration.
  • Are challenged in the voting site.

Primary vs. General Elections


At a primary election, voters select nominees. Candidates are elected in general elections. One exception is that party precinct committeemen are elected in even-year primaries. Illinois does not permit “open” primaries where names of candidates for multiple parties appear on the same ballot.

In a primary election, you are required to declare a party before receiving a ballot. You may select any party, regardless of how you voted in the past. If you do not wish to declare a party in the primary and a public question is on your ballot, a nonpartisan ballot will be available.

Spanish Language Requirements under Voting Rights Act


The 2010 U.S. Census data reported 5% or more of Lake County’s voting age population responded as having limited proficiency in the English language. According to §203 of the Voting Rights Act (42 USC §1973aa-1a), the U.S. Department of Justice now requires Lake County to provide English/Spanish bilingual election materials including ballots, affidavits, signs, legal notices, and web services. 

Telephone Policy


Please do not make or receive calls in the voting site unless it is to call for emergency service. If your cell phone rings, please hang up and return the call when outside the voting site. You may use your phone to discretely look up candidate and public question information while in the voting booth.

Voter's Bill of Rights


You have the right to:
  • Cast your ballot in a non-disruptive atmosphere free of interference.
  • Vote if you're in line by 7 PM.
  • Vote by provisional ballot if your registration is not found.
  • Vote at your old polling place if you have moved within 30 days of the election.
  • Request assistance in voting, if qualified.
  • Bring newspaper endorsements or sample ballots into the voting booth, but take them with you when you finish voting.
  • Protect the secrecy of your ballot.
  • Receive a new ballot if you make a mistake or change your mind.
  • Screen your ballot after voting to ensure it's complete and correct.
  • Have your ballot counted fairly and impartially.
  • If you believe these rights have been violated, call the Lake County Clerk's office at 847-377-2328.

Voter Power


If you are a registered voter and log onto LakeVoterPower.info, you can see:
  • A preview of your sample ballot when available,
  • Locations, hours, photos, map, and driving directions for preferred early and assigned Election Day voting sites,
  • Current elected officials,
  • Districts serving your address,
  • Vote by Mail application request form and tracking, and
  • Information on ballot style and how to cast a write-in vote.

Write-ins


Your write-in votes will only count for candidates who have properly filed appropriate forms with the Clerk's office.

How to Cast a Write-In Vote on an Optical Scan Ballot (PDF)