The 2022 midterm elections will be held nationwide on Tuesday, Nov. 8, but there are still a lot of important deadlines coming up for Evanstonians.

Outside a polling place in 2021.

Illinois allows voters to register in-person or by mail through Tuesday, Oct. 11, and online through Sunday, Oct. 23. Beyond these deadlines, Illinois also has a “grace period” up to and including Election Day allowing voters to register in-person at their polling location.

And when it comes to the actual election date, polling places across Evanston will be open for voters to cast their ballots from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Anyone in line before 7 p.m. has the right to stay in line and cast their ballot.

According to Cook County’s Post-Election Report, Evanstonians cast a total of 13,234 votes in this year’s June primary elections, a sharp decrease from the 2018 total of 21,251.

Evanston also has the dubious distinction of having the three lowest precinct turnouts (by percentage of registered voters) in all of suburban Cook County; the lowest was precinct 7-6, roughly covering the southern half of Northwestern University’s campus, which received zero primary votes.

Elizabeth Hubbard at Hillside Free Methodist Church in June 2022 with fellow election judges Ellen Van Bolhuis (center) and Amanda Bridges in the background. Credit: Richard Cahan

In Illinois this November, the marquee race is for governor and lieutenant governor, as incumbent Democrats J.B. Pritzker and Julianna Stratton run for their second term against Republicans Darren Bailey and Stephanie Trussell. Also near the top of the ballot is a statewide referendum to add a “right to collective bargaining” to the state constitution, guaranteeing protection for labor organizing and outlawing “right-to-work” at all levels.

Aside from these big-ticket races, Evanston voters will have a dizzying array of choices to make. This article provides information on how Evanstonians can vote; a separate article, to be published soon, will cover all of the offices and measures that will appear on Evanston ballots.

Where can I vote?

The Cook County Clerk’s “Your Voter Information” tool provides voters their specific polling place on Election Day, based on their address. Evanston has a total of 25 polling places, with each location assigned one to three of Evanston’s 46 voting precincts.

  • Alice Millar Chapel, 1870 Sheridan Road
    • Precincts 1-1 and 7-6
  • Jane R. Perlman Apartments, 1900 Sherman Ave.
    • Precincts 1-2 and 5-2
  • Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes Street
    • Precincts 1-3 and 7-3
  • Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave.
    • Precinct 1-4
  • McGaw YMCA, 1000 Grove Street
    • Precincts 2-1 and 4-6
  • Beth Emet Synagogue, 1224 Dempster Street
    • Precincts 2-2, 4-1 and 4-4
  • Joseph E. Hill Early Childhood Center, 1500 McDaniel Ave.
    • Precinct 2-3
  • Washington Elementary School, 914 Ashland Ave.
    • Precincts 2-4 and 4-5
  • Robert Crown Community Center, 1801 Main Street
    • Precincts 2-5 and 9-4
  • Nichols Middle School, 800 Greenleaf Street
    • Precincts 3-1, 3-2 and 4-2
  • Lake Street Church, 607 Lake Street
    • Precincts 3-4 and 4-3
  • Reba Place Church, 620 Madison Street
    • Precincts 3-5 and 9-1
  • Lincoln Elementary School, 910 Forest Ave.
    • Precincts 3-6 and 3-7
  • Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, 1655 Foster Street
    • Precincts 5-1 and 5-3
  • Northminster Presbyterian Church, 2515 Central Park Ave.
    • Precinct 6-1
  • Willard Elementary School, 2700 Hurd Ave.
    • Precincts 6-2
  • Hillside Free Methodist Church, 2727 Crawford Ave.
    • Precinct 6-3
  • Lincolnwood Elementary School, 2600 Colfax Street
    • Precincts 6-4 and 6-7
  • Haven Middle School, 2417 Prairie Ave.
    • Precincts 6-5, 7-1 and 7-2
  • Evanston Ecology Center, 2024 McCormick Blvd.
    • Precinct 7-4
  • Baha’i National Center, 1233 Central Street
    • Precinct 7-5
  • Dawes Elementary School, 440 Dodge Ave.
    • Precincts 8-1 and 8-5
  • Oakton Elementary School, 436 Ridge Ave.
    • Precincts 8-2, 8-3 and 8-4
  • Grace Lutheran Church, 1430 South Blvd.
    • Precinct 9-2
  • Chute Middle School, 1400 Oakton Street
    • Precincts 9-3 and 9-6

Can I still register to vote?

Illinois allows voters to register in-person or by mail through Tuesday, Oct. 11, and online through Sunday, Oct. 23. Beyond these deadlines, Illinois also has a “grace period” up to including election day allowing voters to register in-person at their polling location.

To register, you must provide two forms of identification, one of which shows that you’ve lived at your current address for at least 30 days before Election Day. Evanston’s voting webpage lists acceptable forms of identification. The League of Women Voters site can also help.

How do I vote by mail?

Registered voters can apply to vote by mail on the County Clerk’s website, and are required to provide their driver’s license/state ID number, the last four digits of their social security number, the address they want the ballot mailed to and their email address. If voters do not have one of these requirements, they can print a paper application from the website to fill out manually and mail it to the County Clerk’s office.

Voters are advised to apply as early as possible if they want to vote by mail. Ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day and be received within 14 days of Election Day to be counted.

Voters can now also register to vote by mail permanently, provided they stay at the same address. Elections officials began sending permanent applications to each of Illinois’ 8 million registered voters in August. More information can be found at www.IllinoisVotes2022.com.

How do I vote early?

All Illinois voters can vote early, and are not required to provide a reason or excuse to do so. However, early voting is limited to specific locations across Cook County; in Evanston, it will take place at the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center on Ridge Avenue. 

Early voting will be open from Monday, Oct. 24 to Monday, Nov. 7, the day before Election Day, during the following hours:

  • Oct. 24 to Oct. 29: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Oct. 30: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Oct. 31 to Nov. 4: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Nov. 5: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Nov. 6: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Nov. 7: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

How can I report election fraud?

Complaints of violations of the Illinois Election Code must be mailed in writing to the Executive Director of the Board of Elections. The complaint must include a variety of information listed on the board’s website.

Do I need an ID with me to vote?

If you are already registered, you do not need to present an ID to vote. If you are not registered, you will need to provide the two forms of identification mentioned above to register on-site; if you cannot provide the required identification, you will only be able to vote with a provisional ballot.

What’s on the ballot?

Evanston ballots are packed, in total covering three referendums, two federal legislators, six state executives, three state legislators, seven county seats, two water commissioners and 76 judges at varying levels.

To keep this article from going too long, the RoundTable has published a separate ballot guide that goes through each and every race Evanstonians will vote on. That guide is posted here.

Alex Harrison

Alex Harrison joins the RoundTable for the summer in between his undergraduate and graduate studies at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

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