How, When, and Where to Vote in Champaign County in the April 4 Consolidated General Election
Voting isn’t just a right, it’s a responsibility and a privilege. All elections have consequences for your future.
On April 4, voters across Illinois will go to the polls in what’s officially known as the Consolidated General Election. There’s nothing more local than the April election — from school boards to park districts to city government, there is something for everyone. Your neighbors and fellow community members who have stepped up to run in these races will have a direct impact on your quality of life.
The main goal of this article is to make it as easy as possible for Champaign County voters to cast their ballots in this municipal election, whether you vote by mail, vote early — it’s possible to do it RIGHT NOW! — or vote on Election Day itself. Read on to find out how, when, and where you can vote.
The election information in this post is compiled by chambanamoms.com as a courtesy, and we do our best to keep it accurate and up-to-date. The Office of the Champaign County Clerk is the authoritative source of all election information in Champaign County. To get voting information for other East Central Illinois counties, see links below.
What’s on the ballot?
The races in the April election are almost all non-partisan, meaning you won’t see a D or R next to candidates’ names on the ballots. A county-wide listing of candidates running for office in this election can be found here.
The easiest way for you to prepare? Visit the independent resource at VoteChampaign.org; here you can read answers to candidate questionnaires and find more information about each individual. (Note that candidate information is not provided for uncontested races, in which the number of candidates running for an office or a board does not exceed the number of openings.)
You can view a personalized sample ballot on the County Clerk’s website (by entering your personal information). Residents of Mahomet and the Windsor Park Fire Protection District, make sure you have read and understand the full text of the referendums that will appear on your ballots.
How do I vote by mail?
All voters are eligible to vote by mail; you must simply request, complete, and return the ballot on time. All ballots come with a postage-paid envelope! The last day the County Clerk will fulfill a vote-by-mail request is five days prior to the election, or March 30. (A ballot may be requested online, over the phone, or by mail, as long as your request is received by March 30.)
- For your ballot to be counted, it must be postmarked on or before Election Day — April 4.
- All vote by mail ballots come with tracking, meaning you will know when your ballot is en route to you and when it has been received by the County Clerk.
- You may also choose to return your ballot in an authorized drop box by 7 p.m. on April 4.
What is a ballot drop box? Where are they located?
These are 24-hour-accessible, ¼-inch steel, waterproof, highly secure boxes that are screwed into cement pads at twelve locations (under “Returning Your Ballot”) in Champaign-Urbana and other Champaign County locations. The contents of each dropbox are retrieved daily by two Election Judges (one from each party) and taken directly to the County Clerk’s office, rather than using the postal service. The tracking on your ballot will let you know when it has been secured at its destination.
When and where can I vote early?
Here’s the fine print on early voting: “Early voting is the opportunity to vote in-person before Election Day. All eligible voters can vote early and they can vote at ANY of the early voting locations. Voting early is no different from voting on Election Day. Once a voter has voted early, they cannot rescind that vote. It is final.” At each location, a ballot is printed for each early voter, so your ballot will include only the races tied to your address of record.
Early voting for the 2023 Consolidated Election opened on Feb. 23 — 40 days before Election Day — at the Champaign County Clerk’s office (Brookens Administrative Center, 1776 E. Washington St., Urbana). Ten additional early voting sites throughout the county will open seven days before Election Day.
For the complete list of early voting sites, visit this website.
Can I vote early even if I requested a ballot by mail?
Yes. According to the County Clerk, just take your vote by mail ballot with you to your polling place, surrender it to the Election Judge, and they will issue you a new ballot. (If you do not have your vote by mail ballot, you may ask the Election Judge to let you sign an affidavit stating that you will destroy it.) You are encouraged to use your vote by mail ballot if you have it. If you’re not comfortable mailing it back, you can take it to a drop box (described above).
Where’s my polling place on Election Day? What precinct am I in? How do I know if I am registered to vote?
UPDATE 3/29/23: Some Election Day voting sites used in the past will not be open for the April 4, 2023 Election due to an increase in early voting/voting by mail as well as a lack of trained election judge volunteers. Click here for the most up-to-date list of Election Day polling locations.
On Election Day, all polling places are open from 6 a.m. – 7 p.m, and you can choose to vote anywhere because all polling locations are now universal — open to all voters or anyone eligible to be a voter in Champaign County. This means that if you encounter a long line at one location (not likely to happen in an April election but you never know), you can leave and go to any other polling location to cast your vote in person.
Reminder: if you are in line at any polling place when it closes, you have the right to cast your vote.
The Champaign County Clerk’s website features a handy tool that lets you confirm your registration, identify your polling place, view a sample ballot, learn what districts you vote in — all in one fell swoop.
If you have never voted in Champaign County, you may still need to register to vote. Find voter registration information here; there are many ways to register up to and including the date of the primary election.
Where can I find voting information for other counties?
Piatt County | Douglas County | Vermilion County | Ford County
For additional counties in Illinois, check the Illinois Board of Elections list of election authorities.
What ID should I bring to vote?
Generally, no identification or “voter card” is required to vote at the polling place. If you have not changed your voter registration address or name since the last election and your signature matches the signature on your registration, you should not need to show ID. If you have updated your voter registration address or name, or your signature does not match, you may be asked for ID. If you are concerned at all about your identification, we’ve linked to valid forms of ID voters can use.
Can I bring my kids to vote?
Voting is exciting! Yes, kids are allowed at the polls through the whole process. If you’re lucky enough to have a polling location that uses curtains for privacy, they’ll love that — I know mine do. Early voting is a great way to bring the kids – typically no lines.
Can I post a selfie of me and my ballot?
Photographing a marked ballot is actually a felony in Illinois. Proceed at your own risk.
No matter what your ideology, we all need to make sure we raise our voices. So GO VOTE! And then flaunt your “I Voted” sticker for all to see.