With less than a week before registration closes, County Clerk David Orr reminds residents who want to vote in the March 20 presidential primary to register by the Tuesday, Feb. 21, deadline.

As of today, there are 1,385,935 registered voters in suburban Cook County. That’s an increase of more than 35,000 from the same time four years ago.

Orr says there hasn’t been much registration activity recently, but “we anticipate a rush of registrations in the summer and fall prior to the Nov. 6 election.”

Orr reminds voters who have recently moved that they must re-register at their current address prior to the deadline.

To receive a voter registration application, individuals living in suburban Cook County can print an application form by visiting

Voter registration applications are available in English, Spanish, Hindi and Chinese.

After completing the application, prospective voters should return it to the Cook County Clerk’s office, 69 W. Washington St., Room 500, Chicago, IL 60602. All applications must be delivered or postmarked by Feb. 21.

Residents wishing to register in person can visit the downtown Chicago ofice or clerk’s offices located in the five suburban Cook County courthouses. They can also go to their municipal or township clerk’s office.

Prospective voters should bring two pieces of identification to register, including one displaying a current address. A bill mailed to the prospective voter may serve as one form of ID.

To qualify to vote, a person must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old by Election Day (March 20) and a resident of his or her precinct for at least 30 days prior to the election.

Voters who miss the regular registration deadline will still be able to vote if they register during the 14-day grace period. Grace-period registration runs from Feb. 22 through March 13.

Grace-period voters must vote in person at the Clerk’s office immediately after signing up to vote. Grace-period registrants are not allowed to vote by mail, at the polls on Election Day, or at any early voting site.  

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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