Military & Overseas Voting


  • Friday, September 23rd - first day vote by mail ballots for military and overseas voters can be mailed
  • Monday, October 31st - last day a military or overseas voter can request a vote by mail ballot
  • Tuesday, November 8th - Election Day - last day any vote by mail ballot can be postmarked to the Clerk's Office
  • Tuesday, November 22nd - last day any vote by mail ballot can be received at the Clerk's Office to be counted in the General election

Here is a video demonstrating the instructions outlined below.

You will receive an email from the Clerk's Office with your ballot, voting instructions, and template for the return envelope. Here are the steps to complete once you have received that email.

  1. Print your ballot on plain white paper. Originally the ballot is designed to be 8.5x14 but you can print it on what size works for your printer. You can print it double-sided or single-sided.
  2. Print the envelope template on plain white paper. The original envelope size is 11x17 but you can use the fit option to to make it fit a smaller, 8.5x11 or 8.5x14 size page. The envelope should be printed double-sided to make the best use of the template function.
  3. On the envelope you have just printed; sign where it says "Signature or mark of voter," complete the ballot certification underneath, and the return address on the front of the envelope. The Clerk's Office CANNOT process your ballot without this information. Your service address is your current overseas address.
  4. Cut the ballot template out along the exterior red lines. Please use minimal transparent tape and no staples! Remember - the Clerk's Office has to open this envelope WITHOUT damaging your ballot inside. Here is a video demonstrating how to put the envelope together.
  5. Complete your ballot. Read the ballot carefully, noting how many candidates you may vote for per race and check for a second page to your ballot for additional races. We encourage you to vote the whole ballot.
  6. Once your ballot is completed to your satisfaction, fold it as needed to fit in the envelope you have made and tape the envelope closed. Again, transparent tape only and no staples.
  7. Mail the ballot back the Clerk's Office. Postage is paid if you are depositing the envelope at a US Post Office, in a US Post Office box, an overseas US Military Post Office, or to an American Embassy or American Consulate. If you are using the postal system of the country you are currently residing in, you will need to pay the postage costs to get the envelope into the US postal system. Once your ballot is in the US postal system, the postage paid indicia will take over. If you place the envelope in a mailing envelope, the postage paid is voided and you will need to pay for the entire postal trip to the Clerk's Office.
  8. Track the status of your ballot on our website through the voter portal. Once the Clerk's Office has received and accepted your ballot the portal will reflect that.

The most secure option is to utilize the Illinois MOVE site. After making an account, voters can register, request a vote by mail ballot, and update their contact info as needed. This site was designed to help ease the burden of members of the Uniformed Services (and their eligible dependents) and overseas voters in requesting a voter registration and a vote by mail ballot application. This site will give you the ability to keep in contact with your local election official and to track the status of your application and ballot. Go to to create your account.

You may also visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s website at for information on voting by mail registration and voting process. Ensure that you have applied for your vote by mail ballot using the hard copy or on-line versions of FPCA.


Illinois law requires that uniformed and overseas voters must have had a previous address in Illinois and not be registered to vote in any other state. Illinois law also allows uniformed and overseas voters to register to vote and to apply for a vote by mail ballot at the same time. A request for a vote by mail ballot shall entitle the applicant to a vote by mail ballot for every election in that one calendar year.

Spouses and dependents of uniformed voters who have never resided in Illinois are also qualified to vote in Illinois elections. Spouses and dependents of “Non-Resident Civilian Citizens” who have never resided in Illinois are not qualified to vote in Illinois Elections.

A military voter is one who is a member of the United States Uniformed Service currently on active duty (10 ILCS 5/20-1). It also includes the following:

Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, Merchant Marine, Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration; or U.S. Government employees serving outside the U.S.

Overseas Voters are divided into two categories.

Citizens of the US temporarily residing outside the territorial limits of the US: These are civilian citizens of the United States, and their spouses and dependents of voting age when residing with or accompanying them, who maintain a precinct residence in a county in this State and who intend to return to that residence. (10 ILCS 5/20-1) Non-resident civilian citizens: These are civilian citizens of the United States (a) who reside outside the territorial limits of the United States, (b) who had maintained a precinct residence in a county in this State immediately prior to their departure from the United States, (c) who do not maintain a residence and are not registered to vote in any other State, and (d) whose intent to return to this State may be uncertain. (10 ILCS 5/20-1)

  • A family member or dependent of voting age accompanying them:
    • A family member of a military voter is a spouse or dependent who, by reason of active duty or service of the member, is absent from the place of residence where the spouse or dependent is otherwise qualified and registered to vote.
    • Children born to military members who have reached the age of 18 but have never resided in Illinois to be eligible to vote in Illinois.
    • A family member (mother, father, sister, brother, husband, or wife) of the said elector may apply for vote by mail ballots for such military voter if they are a registered voter in the election precinct for which this application is made. (10 ILCS 5/20-3)




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