The Chicago Votes Monthly: Elections, Events, & More!

Sh*t just got serious! Illinois’ March Primary elections are in full swing now through Election Day, March 19th. In addition to the U.S. President, state and federal lawmakers, judges, Cook County State’s Attorney, and other local races, Chicagoans will be voting on Ballot Measure 1

Ballot measure 1, known to many as Bring Chicago Home, asks voters if they would like to create a stream of funds to alleviate homelessness by increasing the one-time sales tax called a “Real Estate Transfer Tax” on million-dollar properties and up. Learn more about the ballot measure in our voter guide at

Our 2024 Primary Voter Guide also includes a State’s Attorney Questionnaire where we asked all four candidates the following questions: 

  1. How will you use your discretion under the Pre-Trial Fairness Act to Request Detention?
  2. Under the current Foxx Administration, retail thefts under $1000 are not prosecuted as a felony, but as a misdemeanor. Will your administration keep this same threshold or revert to the $300 threshold?
  3. How will your office grow the investment of the Conviction Review Unit work?
  4. A study that analyzed more than 4.6 million traffic stops over 19 years in Chicago, found Black drivers were 6x more likely to be stopped by police in Chicago. How will your office effectively reduce gun violence without simply relying on racially targeted traffic stops?
  5. What is the State’s Attorney’s role in addressing the root causes of violence, and preventing harm before it happens?

That is just the start. This month, Chicago Votes has one event after another. If you’re in a hurry, here are the highlights: 

  • You’re invited to a night of ballot info and outfit inspo! RSVP for the #GiveASh*t Fashion Show & Happy Hour this Saturday, March 9th from 7-9pm at the Chicago Athletic Association. 
  • Brunch Banking is happening every Saturday from 12-3pm up until Election Day. RSVP here for phone banking and complimentary brunch!
  • Our March workshop “Phone Banking for Young People’s Political Knowledge and Train Takeovers,” is March 16th from 12-3pm. RSVP here!
  • We have tons of voter education and activation events happening throughout the month, including several Parades to the Polls™ bringing first-time voters to cast their ballots. If you are interested in volunteering, jump down to the volunteer opportunities section!

Primary Elections Are Here!

 Early Voting 

Early Voting in all 50 Wards of Chicago is open now through Election Day, March 19th. Click here to view a list of early voting locations.

 Apply to Vote-By-Mail 

Vote By Mail is now open for the upcoming election on Tuesday, March 19, 2024. Fill out this online form so you can vote by mail in the next election only.

Join the Vote By Mail Permanent Roster: This ensures that you get mailed a ballot for all future elections. You can edit and opt out too.

Fashion Show & Happy Hour

Ballot info and outfit inspo (; A night of fashion, Chicago designers, and you beautiful people! You’re invited to a fashion show and happy hour hosted by our #GiveAShit Creative Collective at the Chicago Athletic Association. 

Support Chicago designers, get fashion inspiration, and grab a 2024 Primary Voter guide! 

Phone Banking for Young People’s Political Knowledge & Train Takeovers

We know it’s election season, when we start getting texts and calls from campaigns Let’s talk about crafting messages people actually want to read. This workshop will go over text/phone banking, to ensure you are crafting engaging and accurate messages, and train takeovers (handing out literature on the CTA).

  • When: Saturday, March 16th from 12 pm to 2 pm
  • Where: Chicago Votes Office: 1006 S Michigan Ave, Ste 606, Chicago, IL 60604

Kiara Hardin has been an invaluable part of the Chicago Votes family for a while, but she has officially joined our staff full-time as the Development and Programs Operations Manager

Voting Rights Restoration

In 2019, Illinois enacted Civics in Prison, offering peer-taught civics courses during the final year of an individual’s sentence. Written by individuals incarcerated in Stateville C.C., the law fosters civic knowledge and engagement across Illinois’ prisons.

Since its implementation in 2020, over 270 incarcerated people have been trained as peer educators, with over 5,000 course participants. This legislative session, we introduced the Reintegration and Civic Empowerment (RACE) Act.

The RACE Act relocates the peer-taught civics courses to the initial year of incarceration and reinstates the right to vote for individuals in custody within 14 days of conviction. In short, it provides civics education and restores the right to vote to individuals in custody.

Interested in joining the movement to restore voting rights to people in prison? Email for ways to plug into the work. 

Elections in Cook County Jail 

On February 28th, our team delivered 5,000 voter guides to Cook County Jail, empowering voters detained in the jail with information on the upcoming primary elections. In addition to voter guide distribution, we have partnered with the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics to lead hour-long ballot education classes in the jail. 

During these classes we review the ballot in detail, with fruitful discussions about things like Cook County State’s Attorney, Ballot Measure 1, and people power. 

Voters detained in the jail had the opportunity to vote this past weekend and will have another opportunity this upcoming weekend.