Everything you need to know about the April 5th Cook County Consolidated Election

2,100 candidates will be running for municipal, school, park, library and fire district offices in suburban Cook County on April 5, 2011, according to Cook County Clerk David Orr. Voter participation in local elections is crucial if residents want to influence issues affecting their communities, Orr said. Unfortunately, less than a third of registered voters typically cast ballots in the consolidated election. (See turnout history below.) VOTER REGISTRATION You have until March 8th to register to vote in the April 5th election. Eligible citizens who wish to participate in the Consolidated Election should register to vote before the March 8 deadline. To register to vote, you must be: a U.S. citizen; 18 years old by election day; and a resident of your precinct for at least 30 days prior to the election. Orr reminds suburban voters who have recently moved or changed their name to re-register at their current address. Registration applications suburban Cook County residents can be printed from the Clerk's website. Forms are available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Polish. After completing the application, suburban voters should return it to the Cook County Clerk's office, 69 W. Washington, Fifth Floor, Chicago, IL 60602. Residents wishing to register in person may visit Orr's office, their municipal or township office, or one of the Clerk's offices located at the five suburban Cook County courthouses: North suburbs: 5600 W. Old Orchard Road, Room 149, Skokie Northwest suburbs: 2121 Euclid Ave., Room 238, Rolling Meadows West suburbs: 1311 Maybrook Square, Room 104, Maywood South suburbs: 16501 S. Kedzie Ave., Room 238, Markham Southwest suburbs: 10220 S. 76th Ave., Room 238, Bridgeview Prospective voters should bring two pieces of identification to register, including one displaying a current address. CANDIDATES A list of candidates for the April 5 Consolidated Election is available on the Clerk's website. Write-in candidates and referenda can also be found under the 2011 Elections section of cookcountyclerk.com. Please note: Candidates and write-in candidates for the April 5 election may change due to late court decisions. Any news outlet wishing to contact candidates via mail can request a contact list by emailing Trevor Layton (trevor.layton@cookcountyil.gov). The Clerk's office has ONLY mailing addresses. No email addresses or phone numbers for candidates are available. IMPORTANT DATES Now - Absentee ballot applications are being accepted March 8 - Last day to register to vote March 14 - First day of Early Voting March 31 - Last day of Early Voting; Last day to request an absentee ballot April 4 - Last day absentee ballots can be postmarked April 5 - Election Day


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