First, make sure there is still time to request an absentee ballot before your state’s deadline. Most states recommend submitting your absentee ballot request at least one month prior to the election, though some states will continue to accept absentee ballot requests one week prior or sometimes even less. View Absentee Ballot Deadlines by State. You are encouraged to apply as early as possible to make sure you receive your ballot on time.
To request an absentee ballot for any state, come to the Center for Civic Engagement (1813 Hinman Ave in Evanston, Monday–Friday 9am–5pm), or use our online Absentee Ballot Request Tool. (If the submission of paper forms or any other steps are required, NU Votes can assist with printing, mailing, copies of IDs, etc.)
States typically allow absentee ballot requests to be submitted in person, by mail, and sometimes by fax or email. In some states, registered voters may be able to request absentee ballots entirely online. However, in most cases, you will need to take additional steps like printing, signing, and mailing forms, submitting copies of IDs, etc.
Because of this, we encourage you to take advantage of NU Votes’ in-person voter registration assistance, where you can be sure to complete the process fully and accurately and get any questions answered. If you prefer to use the online Absentee Ballot Request Tool (at least to start the process), NU Votes can assist with printing, mailing, copies of IDs, etc., as needed. Or, the tool will give you instructions on how to complete the process on your own if you wish.
Once you submit your request, you will be mailed a paper ballot to the address you choose, to complete, sign, and return. In some cases, you may be able to download a ballot, or receive one via fax or email.