Taking part in the electoral process is one of our most basic and important rights as American citizens. It gives us a say on crucial issues that may affect us, and allows us a voice in choosing our representatives in local, state, and federal government. This can be especially important for individuals with disabilities. According to the American Association for People with Disabilities (AAPD), “The disability community has a huge stake in state and federal results of the November election. Justin Dart, father of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), said ‘Vote as if your life depended on it, because it does.’”
Every American citizen should have the opportunity to vote if they so choose, but in order to do so, you must first register. According to the AAPD, National Disability Voter Registration Week has been designated in order to “increase the political power of people with disabilities while also engaging candidates and the media to recognize the disability community.” Luckily, registering to vote is a fairly quick and easy process, and we are here to help. For information on completing your voter registration, read on!
Who can register to vote?
According to the Lake County Clerk’s website, you must meet the following qualifications in order to register:
- Be a United States citizen.
- Be at least 18 years of age on or before the next election (17 year olds may register and vote in even-year primaries if their 18th birthday occurs before the date of the general election).
- Live in your election precinct at least 30 days immediately prior to an election.
- Not be convicted and in jail.
- Not claim the right to vote anywhere else.
What will you need in order to register?
- In order to register using the Illinois Online Voter Application you will need a valid Illinois driver’s license or state I.D. card.
- In order to register at an official place of voter registration (with a deputy registrar), you will need two forms of identification. At least one of the two forms of I.D. must show your name and current address (ex. Illinois driver’s license or state I.D. card), and only one form of I.D. may be a piece of mail for a contractual service addressed and delivered to you.
Where can you register?
Happily, it is now easier than ever to register to vote because you have the options to:
- Register online using the Illinois Online Voter Application.
- Visit one of the numerous voter registration sites in the area (for a complete list of locations in Lake County, click here).
- Register to vote by mailing in your application directly to the County Clerk (for more information, click here).
Where to go for more information:
- Lake County Clerk’s website.
- AAPD: National Disability Voter Registration Week information.
- “Rock the Vote” voter resources.
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)) Polling Checklist.
As always, feel free to call or visit us at the Deerfield Public Library if you have any questions. Happy voting!