With the April 6 consolidated municipal election nearing, those who want to get a head start on voting only have a matter of weeks left to wait before they can cast their ballots.

Oak Park residents planning to vote early can do so at village hall, 123 Madison St., beginning March 22 and up until April 4. Monday through Friday early voting hours at Oak Park village hall extend from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Weekend early voting hours are between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. 

The villages of River Forest and Forest Park do not have designated early voting sites, but residents are able to vote early at any suburban Cook County location, including at the Maywood Courthouse (Whitcomb Building), 1311 Maybrook Square. Early voting begins March 10 at Maywood Courthouse and ends April 4.

Like Oak Park village hall, early voting hours at the Maywood Courthouse extend from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, with weekend early voting hours between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sundays.  

Early voting at Brookfield village hall, 8820 Brookfield Ave., begins March 22 and ends April 4. Brookfield village hall has the same designated early voting hours as both Oak Park village hall and Maywood Courthouse. 

A full list of every suburban early voting location, as well as each location’s early voting hours, can be accessed on the Cook County Clerk’s website. 

Voters who would like to receive a mail-in ballot can download and print off an application or register for one online. Both options are available through the Cook County Clerk’s website. The deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot is April 1, five days before election day. 

To apply for one online, voters need a driver’s license, a state identification number or the last four digits of their social security numbers. Those who apply need also to provide the address to which the ballot should be sent, as well as an email address. 

Printed applications must be signed and sent to the County Clerk’s office. 

When the application has been received and processed, a mail-in ballot will be delivered to the address requested by the voter on the application.

Residents must fill out and return mail-in ballots no later than election day. Filled out mail-in ballots can be deposited in the secure drop boxes located at the five regional Cook County courthouses located in Rolling Meadows, Skokie, Maywood, Bridgeview and Markham. They can also be deposited at the Cook County Clerk’s office at 69 W. Washington St. in downtown Chicago. 

Unlike during the most recent election held last November, Oak Park village hall will not have a secured ballot drop box, according to Oak Park Village Clerk Vicki Scaman.

“Mail Ballot Drop boxes at Early Voting sites were authorized by special legislation which applied only to the November 2020 election,” said Scaman. “So far the State of Illinois has not reauthorized the use of drop boxes at Early Voting locations for the April 6, 2021 Consolidated Election.”

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