Voting as a university student can be complicated, so we want to help explain and simplify your options in a series of Election News articles focused on student voting.
Students are in a unique situation in that they may be temporarily living in a location other than home. That provides them options for voting that others do not encounter. Two main questions you need to answer are:
- Do I want to vote in my home election authority or with McLean County?
- Do I want to vote in person or vote by mail?
Note: McLean County has two election authorities. The McLean County Clerk’s Office handles all elections for the county except the City of Bloomington. Voting in the City of Bloomington is conducted by the Bloomington Election Commission (BEC). IWU students living on campus should contact the BEC.
Where am I registered to vote?
If you are a student, you may be registered to vote in your home county. If you lived in McLean County during a previous election, you may be registered in McLean County. If you haven't voted before, you may not be registered at all.
If you originate from Illinois, visit the Illinois Online Voter Application Registration Lookup to see if you're registered. If you're from another state, visit your state's election authority to check your voter registration.
Can I register to vote if I'm 17?
Yes! Even if you aren’t 18 yet, but you will be before the Nov. 5, 2024 General Election, you can register to vote now!
In which county can I vote?
If you are registered in your home county and wish to vote through that election authority, you can either travel home to vote, or you can request to vote by mail.
If you are living in McLean County and will be residing here for the March 19, 2024 Primary Election you can register to vote in McLean County.
What if I’m registered in my home county, but want to register in McLean County?
If you're registered in your home county but want to register in McLean County you do that. Just be sure to contact your home election authority to cancel your voter registration.
I was registered in McLean County before but moved. Do I need to update my registration?
Yes! Any time you move you need to update your voter registration. Simply submit a new voter registration with your updated address. Even moving up or down one floor or to the other side of a residence hall may impact your precinct, so you'll need to update your voter registration.
How can I vote?
Our next article will focus on ways you can vote. If you’d like to look ahead, visit the McLean County Clerk's Election web page for information on early voting, voting on Election Day, and voting by mail.