Mail-in ballots are here to stay, Illinois.

Record-setting requests for them during the 2020 general election — amid the COVID-19 pandemic — led to Gov. J.B. Pritzker signing a bill in 2021, to make them permanent fixtures in state elections.

Anyone who has requested a mail-in ballot should receive it soon. June 23 is the deadline to request a mail-in ballot and June 28 — Election Day — is the latest date a mail-in ballot can be postmarked to be counted.

Returning these ballots is easy — there are several options (just remember that once a mail-in ballot has been received by an election jurisdiction then it cannot be returned):

  • Drop it off with local election officials: Check your jurisdiction for details.
  • Mail it back: It’s free to mail your ballot via the U.S. Postal Service — no postage required.
  • Surrender your ballot: Want to vote in person instead? Just take the mail-in ballot to any early voting site or your Election Day precinct polling place and exchange it for a new ballot.
  • Drop box: These secured locations — both free-standing and at early voting sites — accept ballots prior to Election Day (June 28).

Jurisdictions choose where and when drop boxes are available. Many are located inside early voting venues that are only available during select days and hours, others are free-standing and open without interruption — and under surveillance for added security — until Election Day.

Ballots should be returned to the jurisdiction that issued them — for example, voters in Chicago should return ballots to drop boxes located in Chicago, voters in Suburban Cook County should return ballots to drop boxes offered by the Cook County clerk, and so on.

Use the map and listings below to help find the drop box in your jurisdiction that is closest to you.

Locations of drop boxes and hours of operation are not subject to change, so check with your local jurisdiction for latest information.

Mail-in ballot drop-off locations, by jurisdiction

Type your address into the search box below to find the closest drop box.

Sources: Tribune reporting; state and local election boards

Jurisdiction: Chicago Board of Election Commissioners

Jurisdiction: Cook County Clerk’s office

Jurisdiction: DuPage County Election Commission

Jurisdiction: Kane County Clerk

Jurisdiction: Lake County Clerk

Jurisdiction: McHenry County Clerk

Jurisdiction: Will County Clerk


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