National Voter Registration Day is Sept. 24, so it’s a good time to make sure you are registered to vote. To vote in Illinois, you must be a United States citizen age 17 on or before the date of the primary election (March 17, 2020) and age 18 on or before the date of the general or consolidated election (Nov. 3, 2020).
You must also have lived in your election precinct at least 30 days before Election Day, not be serving a sentence of confinement in any penal institution as a result of a conviction, and not claim the right to vote anywhere else. College students may register using either their campus or home addresses and then must vote where they are registered.
Illinois citizens can verify their status via the state Board of Elections website. If you need to register or change your registration, the Bloomington Board of Election Commissioners administers voting registration for Bloomington residents, and the McLean County Clerk oversees registration for the Town of Normal and anyone living outside Bloomington’s boundaries.
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Voting is a privilege and a responsibility for all eligible citizens. According to a Pew Research study, about 40% of people who could vote in the 2016 presidential election did not do so. In Illinois, of the 9,866,799 eligible citizens, only 5,666,118 actually voted – 63%, just slightly above the national average. Increasing turn-out in 2020 is essential to accurately reflect the prevailing moral values of our state and our country. Do your part!
Mary Meier, Bloomington