Distribution of Mail Ballots for Suburban Cook Voters Begins Today

Voter mailing address sheet for window envelope
This is what you’re looking for, the voter mailing address sheet for window envelope . (Photo: Cook County Clerk)

Chicago, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The Office of Cook County Clerk Karen A. Yarbrough will begin distributing a record number of mail ballots today to more than 400,000 suburban Cook County voters who have made a request to cast their vote by mail in the November 3 General Election.

The Clerk’s Elections Unit has been hard at work around the clock processing the 403,944 mail ballot requests that have been received by the office. This morning, the office will administrate the process of printing the individual ballots in the requested language, packaging the materials, and sending them to the voter. Voters who have already requested mail ballots can expect to see them arriving in their mailboxes over the next week.

Clerk Yarbrough noted that the significant number of mail ballot requests is unprecedented, a factor she attributes to voters seeking a safe and secure method to cast their ballot in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as significant interest in the presidential election. In the 2018 Gubernatorial election, by comparison, the Cook County Clerk received requests for approximately 106,000 mail ballots.

Ballot card
Mail-in ballot card mock-up for 2020 election. (Cook County)

“Given the exceptional circumstances of this election, my office has been planning extensively for many months to manage this significant increase in mail voting requests, and we are very excited to begin the process of mailing the requested ballots today,” said Yarbrough.

“It is my highest priority to ensure that Cook County voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots in the manner in which they feel most comfortable, whether that is voting by mail, voting early, or voting in person on election day. We intend to deliver an election process that engages as many voters as possible in a manner that is safe, secure, and equitable for all who participate.”

Voters who have not yet requested a mail ballot but would still like to do so have until October 29 to make their request. The easiest and most convenient way to request a mail ballot is to apply online at the Clerk’s website at cookcountyclerk.com/VoteByMail. Clerk Yarbrough encourages voters to apply online as soon as possible and provide an email address so that her office can inform them when their request is received and when their ballot is mailed. The deadline to return mail ballots is November 3.

return mail ballot envelope Cook County 2020
Return mail ballot envelope. (Cook County 2020)

For voters who opt not to vote by mail, in person Grace Period Registration and Early Voting will begin October 7 at Cook County’s five suburban courthouses and at the Cook County Administration Building in Chicago. On October 19, in person early voting will be expanded and available at more than 50 locations across suburban Cook County. The Clerk will also have secure drop boxes available at all of these voting locations beginning October 19 for voters who prefer to drop off their ballot as opposed to mailing it. Voters can go to cookcountyclerk.com for detailed information on voting dates and locations.

Voters who have requested a mail ballot can expect to receive the documents pictured in this article in the mailing that they receive from the Cook County Clerk.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Clerk’s Office is unable to distribute the traditional “I Voted!” stickers in Early Voting materials. 

This is news from the Cook County Clerk’s office.