Frequently Asked Questions
WHO SHOULD REGISTER TO VOTE?
Winnebago County residents who are not registered to vote and who meet the following Illinois voter qualifications should register:
- Must be a citizen of the United States
- Must be at least 18 years old
- Must be a resident of the State for at least 30 days
WHEN CAN I REGISTER?
You can register at any Election Authority during their normal office hours. The only time you cannot register is during a period from 28 days prior to an election until the 2nd day after the election is held.
WHAT INFORMATION DO I NEED TO REGISTER?
You need to present two (2) forms of I.D. One needs to have your current address listed with your name and the second form can be anything with just your name on it. Example: A current Drivers License and your Social Security Card.
WHAT DO I DO WHEN I HAVE MOVED AND CHANGED MY ADDRESS?
If you have your voter registration card from your previous address, you can turn
it over and on the space provided on the back, put your new address. Please remember to sign and put a phone number in case there are any questions.
WHAT IF I GET MARRIED OR CHANGE MY NAME?
Women who change their last name need to register at any Election Authority. When you change your Drivers License to your new name, you can also change your Voters Registration at that time. Even if you hyphenate your last name, you still need to re-register.
WHO MAY VOTE BY ABSENTEE BALLOT?
Persons who are registered in Winnebago County are eligible to cast an absentee ballot. In addition, the following unregistered voters are eligible to vote by absentee ballot:
- Members of the Uniformed Service or merchant marine on active duty, or eligible spouses or dependents
- U.S. citizens temporarily residing outside the U.S.
- U.S. citizens overseas by virtue of employment or accompanying their spouses or dependents
- Other U.S. citizens residing outside the U.S.
ABSENTEE VOTING BY MAIL
Voters need to obtain an application for an absentee ballot. To obtain an application,the voter would need to either call the County Clerk’s office at 815-987-3088, write to our office requesting the application or download the application from this website. Complete the application, including your signature and if the ballot is to be mailed to a different address other than your home address, you would need to include that. Return the application to the County Clerk’s office in person or by mail.
Your ballot will be mailed to you within 2 days. PLEASE REMEMBER: By state law, our office may not mail ballots more than 40 days nor less than five days prior to the election.
Once you have received your absentee ballot, follow all enclosed instructions to vote the ballot and return it to the County Clerk’s office before Election Day. Voted ballots may be returned by mail or may be returned in person.
ABSENTEE VOTING IN PERSON
Any qualified voter may cast an absentee ballot in person at the Winnebago County Clerk’s office not more than 40 days or less than one day prior to the election.
HOW TO BECOME AN ELECTION JUDGE
In order to become an election judge, registered voters need to be of one party affiliation or another. You determine your party affiliation when you vote in the primaries an select a ballot for one of the established parties. Election judges are responsible for the proper and lawful conduct of the election in the polling place. Election judges are commissioned as officers of the Circuit Court and are required to take an oath to uphold the constitutions of the United States and the State of Illinois.
Interested voters can contact the Election Dept. of the County Clerk’s office at 815-319-4252.
CAMPAIGN DISCLOSURE INFORMATION
The Illinois Campaign Disclosure Act applies to all candidates for public office, groups of candidates or political action committees (PAC) who have accepted contributions or made expenditures in excess of $3,000 within a 12-month period, in support of or in opposition to (1) a candidate or candidates for public office, or (2) any question of public policy to be submitted to the voters. Once the threshold has been reached, the Act requires that the committee file campaign disclosure documents with the State Board of Elections and, if applicable, the county clerk. Find more information at Illinois State Board of Elections.