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Democracy

Decision 2024: Democracy In Action

Tools to help you navigate the political landscape and take an active role in shaping the future.

The commencement of the 2024 election season is marked by the initiation of voting in Iowa on January 15. This period encompasses the presidential primaries and caucuses across the country, extending until June.

Hispanic eligible voters tend to be younger than eligible voters overall, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center. Only 33% of Latino eligible voters are ages 50 and older, compared with 48% of all U.S. eligible voters.

Knowing the voting requirements before heading to the polls is essential, as the rules can be complex. Are you eligible to vote in the primary? Is pre-registration necessary? What kind of identification, if any, is needed? We at Illinois Latino News (ILLN) want to help you find the answers to these questions.

There have been recent changes that Illinois voters should be aware of. Teenagers between 16 and 17 years old will automatically be registered to vote when they obtain their driver’s license unless they opt out. Additionally, jurisdictions with a population of over 500,000 must have at least two vote centers, with one offering curbside voting. This is an increase from the previous requirement of just one vote center.

Registering to vote in Illinois has multiple ways: online, by mail, or in person.

To register online, you can use the state’s voter registration portal. This allows you to register, check your registration status, or update an existing application. You will need your Illinois driver’s license or state ID card number, date of issue, and the last four digits of your Social Security number.

If you prefer to register by mail, you can download a registration form, print it, and complete it. Afterward, mail the form to your local election authority or the State Board of Elections Voter Registration Department at 2329 S. MacArthur Blvd., Springfield, IL 62704. Ensure to include a copy of your current photo identification or a copy of your current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or other government document showing your name and address.

For those who would like to register in person, applications are available at various locations, such as local election authorities, county clerk offices, military recruitment offices, city and village offices, and some public schools and libraries. Contact your local election authority to find out where to obtain an application.

It is important to note that mailed voter registration forms must be received by Tuesday, February 20.


Important Dates:


Illinoisans will be able to cast their ballot in the primary elections on Tuesday, March 19, 2024.

It is important to note that voters are not required to declare a party affiliation to participate in primary elections. However, they can only vote on one party’s ballot during the primary.

While most states utilize primaries to choose their presidential nominees, nine states, including Iowa, continue to opt for caucuses as their selection method. Unlike traditional primaries, where voters privately cast their ballots, caucuses involve them gathering together to express their preferences openly.

For the upcoming election, the Democratic and Republican parties will hold caucuses in Iowa, Idaho, and Wyoming. However, only the Republican party will conduct caucuses in Alaska, Hawaii, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota, and Utah.

Registration deadlines and requirements differ across states. In 42 states and the District of Columbia, online registration is available. Additionally, in 22 states and D.C., you can register and vote on the same day. If you choose this route, it is vital to have proof of your residence ready, such as a driver’s license or ID card. Some states may accept documents like paychecks or utility bills with your address as proof of residency. In certain states, same-day registrants may need to sign an affidavit or take an oath attesting to their eligibility and confirming that they still need to vote.

Under the “motor voter” law, states must allow individuals to register at motor vehicle offices. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, approximately one-third of all voter registration applications are submitted through motor vehicle offices annually.

After hosting the Democratic National Convention in 1996, the event will return to Chicago on August 19-22, 2024, at the United Center. The 2024 Republican National Convention is scheduled to be held July 15 to 18, at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 5.

Resources:

How to Vote in Illinois’ 2024 Elections: https://states.aarp.org/illinois/election-voting-guide

Illinois State Board of Elections: https://www.elections.il.gov/#News


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