Election Details

  1. Upcoming Elections
    March 19, 2024 - General Primary Election
    November 5, 2024 - General Election


  • When available, registered voters can log on to LakeVoterPower.info to preview and print a personalized sample ballot to be used as a reference.
  • Lake County uses only paper ballots -- preprinted or printed-on-demand in the voting site.
  • In a primary election, you are required to declare a party before receiving a ballot. You may select any party, regardless of how you voted in the past.
  • If you do not wish to declare a party in the primary and a public question is on your ballot, a nonpartisan ballot containing only the public question (no partisan candidates will be available.
  • You don’t have to vote every race.
  • Vote for not more than the number of choices allowed in each race.
  • Illinois election law requires the ballot counter to alert you if you do not cast a vote in each statewide constitutional office. You can choose to cast your ballot with the unvoted offices. All your other votes will be counted.
  • If you voted early or by mail, you may not vote again on Election Day.
  • No ballot may be retrieved or changed once it is placed in the ballot bin.
  • If you have any questions about the correctness of your ballot, ask the election judges BEFORE you cast your ballot.

Preprinted Ballots

Preprinted ballots are used in:

  • Early voting sites when you choose a location close to home
  • All Election Day voting sites

Election judges will verify your identity, match your signature to your voter registration record, and issue a preprinted ballot.

Using the provided pen, completely fill in the oval next to your choices.

How to Vote on an Optical Scan Ballot 

Print-on-Demand Ballots

Print-on-demand ballots are provided to voters who use the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) equipment or who vote at an early voting site far from home.

How to Vote using a Print-on-Demand Ballot

  • Election judges will verify your identity, match your signature to your voter registration record, and issue an activated Express Vote ballot.
  • Insert the Express Vote ballot into ballot marking equipment, and the screen will show you your choices in each race.
  • Select your candidates using the touch-screen features.
  • After you finish making your choices, select the option to print your ballot.
  • Your completed ballot will be returned so you may cast it in the ballot counter.
  • Place your ballot inside the privacy sleeve leaving the election judge’s initials uncovered and proceed to ballot counter.
  • An election judge will verify your ballot bears another judge’s initials.
  • Place ballot in ballot counter.

Ballot Colors in a Primary

  • Democratic ballots have a black heading with white letters.
  • Republican ballots have a white heading with black letters.
  • Nonpartisan ballots have a gray heading with black letters.

Ballot Styles

Boundaries for units of government, schools, parks, libraries, fire and water districts intersect and create many unique ballot style combinations. So, your ballot may be different than your neighbor’s ballot and will list only the candidates and issues for the districts serving your address.

Election Cycles

Even-Numbered Years

General Primary Election - 3rd Tuesday in March

Nominees for Federal, State, Legislative, Judicial, County, and North Shore Water Reclamation District (NSWRD).

Election of Precinct Committeepersons and Lake Forest Municipal candidates and referenda.

General Election - 1st Tuesday following the 1st Monday in November

Federal, State, Legislative, Judicial, County, NSWRD candidates and referenda.

Odd-Numbered Years

Consolidated Primary Election - Last Tuesday in February

Municipal nominees for established political party candidates and referenda.

Consolidated Election - 1st Tuesday in April

Municipal, Township, Park, and Library Districts.

Schools, Colleges, other special purpose district candidates and referenda.

Election Security

The optical scan voting system leaves a secure paper trail and minimizes the risk against outside interference as no electronic votes are ever cast. All voting results can be accurately reproduced by re-inserting the voted paper ballots through the ballot counter.

After the Election Day polls close, election judges activate the ballot counter to tabulate your votes, print a results tape, and transmit totals to the Lake County Clerk’s office.


At every voting site, an orange cone is placed 100 feet from the door of the room where voting occurs and marks the “No Electioneering” zone. In this area, voters, candidates, pollwatchers, or election workers cannot show support or opposition for candidates or questions on the ballot. This includes brochures, conversations, signs, clothing, hats, buttons, etc.

Is Identification Required?

No, you do not provide identification if you are correctly registered with your current name and address and if your signature on the application at the time of voting matches the signature on your registration record.

You will be asked to provide identification if you:

  • Registered by mail, did not provide identification at that time, and are voting for the first time.
  • Used a different style signature on your ballot application than what is recorded on your voter registration record.
  • Are marked as an inactive voter because of an address change or mail returned to the Lake County Clerk's office by the U.S. Postal Service.
  • Are updating your name and/or address or registering for the first time under Grace Registration.
  • Are challenged in the voting site.

Primary vs. General Elections

At a primary election, voters select nominees. Candidates are elected in general elections. One exception is that party precinct committeepersons are elected in even-year primaries. Illinois does not permit “open” primaries where names of candidates for multiple parties appear on the same ballot.

In a primary election, you are required to declare a party before receiving a ballot. You may select any party, regardless of how you voted in the past. If you do not wish to declare a party in the primary and a public question is on your ballot, a nonpartisan ballot will be available.

Signature Updates

To update or revise your signature you can re-register to vote. Options to do so include:

  • Register online with through the State Board of Elections’ website at https://ova.elections.il.gov/. If you have an Illinois Driver’s License or Illinois State Identification card, you can register online and they will pull the signature from their Driver’s License or State ID.
  • Complete a mail-in application and mail it back to our office. The form is available at:
  • Register to vote in-person with a deputy registrar using two forms of ID: both with the voter’s name and one with their current address. Locations with deputy registrars can be found here and acceptable identification information can be found here.

Spanish Language Requirements under Voting Rights Act

The 2010 U.S. Census data reported 5% or more of Lake County’s voting age population responded as having limited proficiency in the English language. According to §203 of the Voting Rights Act (42 USC §1973aa-1a), the U.S. Department of Justice now requires Lake County to provide English/Spanish bilingual election materials including ballots, affidavits, signs, legal notices, and web services.

Telephone Policy

Please do not make or receive calls in the voting site unless it is to call for emergency service. If your cell phone rings, please hang up and return the call when outside the voting site. You may use your phone to discretely look up candidate and public question information while in the voting booth.

Voter's Bill of Rights

You have the right to:

  • Cast your ballot in a non-disruptive atmosphere free of interference.
  • Vote if you're in line by 7 PM.
  • Vote by provisional ballot if your registration is not found.
  • Vote at your old voting site if you have moved within 30 days of the election.
  • Request assistance in voting, if qualified.
  • Bring newspaper endorsements or sample ballots into the voting booth but take them with you when you finish voting.
  • Protect the secrecy of your ballot.
  • Receive a new ballot if you make a mistake or change your mind.
  • Screen your ballot after voting to ensure it is complete and correct.
  • Have your ballot counted fairly and impartially.
  • If you believe these rights have been violated, call the Lake County Clerk's office at 847-377-2400.

Voter Power

If you are a registered voter and log onto LakeVoterPower.info, you can see:

  • A preview of your sample ballot when available,
  • Locations, hours, photos, map, and driving directions for all early and assigned Election Day voting sites,
  • Current elected officials,
  • Districts serving your address,
  • Vote by Mail application request form and tracking, and
  • Information on ballot style and how to cast a write-in vote.


Your write-in votes will only count for candidates who have properly filed appropriate forms with the Lake County Clerk's office.

How to Cast a Write-in Vote on an Optical Scan Ballot (PDF)