Election: How to vote in DeKalb


Patrick Murphy

A Huskies Vote sign stands in the Holmes Student Center.

Kierra Frazier, Senior Reporter

DeKALB — With less than 40 days left until Election Day and early voting underway, Laura Vazquez, undergraduate program director in the Department of Communications, is urging students to make a plan when it comes to voting this year. 

“I want students to remember, they have to plan how they’re going to vote,” Vazquez, a member of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge Steering Committee, said. “Where are you going to vote, when are you going to vote, that’s the most important thing.” 

NIU launched the ALL IN Democracy Challenge at the university in December as an effort to encourage students to vote and improve civic engagement on campus. 

How do I register to vote?

To register to vote, you’ll need four pieces of information: an Illinois driver’s license or state ID, issue date of your ID, the last four digits of your Social Security number and your birth date. 

To register online, students and DeKalb County residents can use the Illinois Online Voter Application. The registration period for the online application for the 2020 election closes at 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 18.

Voters have up until Oct. 6 to register to vote in person. If you miss this deadline, voters can register during the grace period beginning Oct. 7 at any DeKalb polling place. If a resident registers to vote during the grace period, then they must vote that same day and provide two forms of ID, one which shows proof of your DeKalb County address. 

To find out if you’re registered to vote in DeKalb County, residents can find out here. Students looking to change their address so they can vote in DeKalb County can do so here by clicking “Start the Online Voter Registration Application.” 

How can I vote-by-mail in Illinois? 

To vote-by-mail, voters must fill out an application on the DeKalb County Clerk and Recorder’s website. The application must be received by Oct. 29 through mail or email to the DeKalb County Clerk’s office, 110 E. Sycamore St. 

Ballots will start to be mailed beginning Sept. 24 through Oct. 29 and voted ballots must be returned to the county clerk’s office, either in person or by mail no later than Election Day. 

Vazquez said students need to remember to have stamps if they plan to vote-by-mail. 

Persons with disabilities in DeKalb County can enroll in the Permanently Disabled Vote by Mail Program. 

When and where can I vote? 

Early voting began on Sept. 24 and goes until Nov. 2. The only polling place that’s currently open for early voting is the Sycamore Campus Legislative Center in the Gathertorium, 200 N. Main St.

DeKalb County residents can vote on campus at the Holmes Student Center in the gallery lounge on the main floor. Voting at the Holmes Student Center begins on Oct. 19 and runs until Election Day. 

Other early and grace period voting locations in Dekalb County start Oct. 19 at the DeKalb Township Building, 2323 S. Fourth St., Kirkland Village Hall, 511 W. Main St. and Sandwich Fire Station, 310 E. Railroad St. 

To register and vote on Election Day, residents must go to the Holmes Student Center or the Sycamore Campus Legislative Center. 

Voters who are already registered on Election Day vote at any location included on this list or search for a nearby location here

Before heading to the polls, Vazquez suggests looking at a sample ballot so students are informed of their choices.