April 4 decides the mayor and 14 city council seats. Here’s how to cast your vote.
It comes down to Brandon Johnson and Paul Vallas for the top seat in City Hall, plus 14 races across wards to claim the remaining city council seats. With eight days until the runoff election in Chicago, here’s how to vote on April 4.
What’s on the ballot?
Mayor — Former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas received the most votes in the April 28 election, but not enough to reach the 50% of votes required to win the race. Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson received the second-most votes, knocking incumbent Mayor Lori Lightfoot out of the running for a second term.
City Council — For 14 of the city’s 50 wards, leading candidates could not secure 50% of the vote putting the top two candidates on the April 4 ballot. In the 43rd Ward, which covers DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus, Lightfoot-appointed incumbent Timmy Knudsen faces Sheffield Neighborhood Association president Brian Comer in the runoff. Check the map below to see if there is an aldermanic runoff election in your ward.
Are you registered to vote? — If you’re not sure, look up your voter registration via the Chicago Board of Elections website. If you’re not registered, you must do so in person at an early voting site or at your precinct polling place on election day by presenting two forms of ID. One of the two acceptable forms of ID must list the voter’s current address. Deadlines have passed to register by mail and online. For those seeking a name or address change on their voter registration, these guidelines also apply for the runoff election.
Early voting — No need to wait until April 4 to cast a ballot, early voting is open in all 50 Wards and at two additional sites downtown. Any voter can vote at any of these sites, regardless of where they live. The Chicago Board of Elections has the full list of early voting sites and hours.
Vote by mail — Thursday, March 30, was the last day to apply to vote by mail. For those that applied, the Chicago Board of Elections will send emails to update voters on the status of their application and ballot. All vote-by-mail ballots must be postmarked by April 4 to be counted. Voters can take their vote-by-mail ballot to a drop box at an early voting site or the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners office, or send it in the mail. If a mail-in voter wants to vote in person, they can surrender their ballot at a polling place and vote in person. Voting by mail? Read the complete guidelines to ensure your ballot gets counted.
On election day — Vote at the polling place in your precinct or at any early voting site. Find your precinct polling place here or at an early voting site convenient to you. New voters can register on the day of the election. Polls will open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.
This voter guide was originally published in 14 East’s In the Loop newsletter on Monday, March 27.
Header Illustration by Magda Wilhelm