How to cast a ballot in Evanston’s Nov. 8 midterm elections


Daily file illustration by Jacob Fulton

Evanston residents can vote in-person on a suite of local and federal candidates, as well as key referendums, on Nov. 8 at 25 polling locations around the city.

Isabel Funk and Jorja Siemons

Evanston residents and Northwestern students alike can head to the polls on Nov. 8 to vote in the 2022 midterm elections for state and federal candidates, as well as key local referendums.

At the state level, voters will weigh in on the governor race. Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D-Ill.) is seeking reelection against Republican candidate Darren Bailey, whose endorsement by former president Donald Trump has made some experts call out a rightward shift in the state’s GOP. The politicians have also gone head-to-head on the SAFE-T Act, which will eliminate cash bail by 2023.

Illinois residents will also vote on state legislature positions and select U.S. Senate and U.S. House representatives. The Evanston ballot has a total of 35 open positions, including judicial positions and county-level offices. 

Voters can also make choices on a collective bargaining referendum and a ranked choice voting referendum

Although Evanston broke turnout records in 2018 for midterm elections, only about 25% of eligible voters showed up for the primaries in June, raising concerns about turnout for the general election. Experts have said turnout rates are typically lower in non-presidential elections, but in previous midterm years, Evanston has led Cook County in voter turnout.

For those who didn’t vote by mail, Illinois has a “grace period” through Election Day where the voters can register to vote in-person at their polling location. 

Polls open in Evanston at 6 a.m. on Election Day and close at 7 p.m. Anyone in line at 7 p.m. can stay to cast their ballot. Early voting, which must take place in-person, closes Nov. 7. Any registered voter in Cook County with a driver’s license, state ID or social security number on file can also request a mail ballot, which must be postmarked by Election Day to be counted. 

Evanston has 25 polling places, and residents can find their specific polling location based on their address through the Cook County Clerk’s “Your Voter Information” tool.

Locations include Noyes Cultural Arts Center, Evanston Public Library, McGaw YMCA, Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center and Alice Millar Chapel on Northwestern’s campus. 

Several places of worship will also be polling locations, including Beth Emet Synagogue, Grace Lutheran Church, Hillside Free Methodist Church and Northminster Presbyterian Church. 

To be eligible to vote, residents must be U.S. citizens, at least 18 years old, not incarcerated for a felony conviction and a resident of their precinct at least 30 days prior to Election Day. 

If a resident is registering for the first time or filing an address change, they need to bring two forms of identification to the polls. At least one must include the resident’s current address.

Example forms of ID include an Illinois driver’s license, Illinois state ID, employee or student ID, birth certificate, valid U.S. passport, rental contract and a utility bill or mail postmarked to the resident’s name.

If residents cannot provide this identification, they will only be able to vote with a provisional ballot. No ID is required for residents who’ve already registered to vote.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @isabeldfunk

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @JorjaSiemons

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