Voting - General or Special Election

The State of Illinois grants 2 hours of paid time to vote under certain circumstances. State of Illinois law grants eligible employees up to two hours of paid leave for the purpose of voting in a general or special election within the State of Illinois if their working hours on the day of the election begin less than 2 hours after the opening of the polls and end less than 2 hours before the closing of the polls.

State of Illinois law (10 ILCS 5/1-3) defines a general election as the "biennial election at which members of the General Assembly are elected" and a special election as "an election not regularly recurring at fixed intervals, irrespective of whether it is held at the same time and place and by the same election officers as a regular election."

Select one of the links below for more information:

Eligibility
Approval & Documentation
Length
Reporting
Resources

Please also see information regarding voting in a Primary election


Eligibility

To be eligible for paid time to vote on the day of an election, an employee must be:

  • Entitled to vote at a general or special election or at any election at which propositions are submitted to a popular vote in the State of Illinois.
  • Scheduled to work on the day of such election, with working hours beginning less than 2 hours after the opening of the polls and ending less than 2 hours before the closing of the polls. For example, if the polls are open from 6:00am to 7:00pm and the employee's scheduled work hours are from 7:00am - 7:00pm, the employee may be granted 2 hours of paid time to vote during the day of the election.

Approval & Documentation

Prior to the day of the election, the employee must provide his or her supervisor/department with a written request, and show his/her voter registration card as proof of eligibility to vote in the designated election.


Length

Eligible employees are encouraged to vote during their non-working hours. However, if they are unable to do so based on the working hours criteria described above, they may be granted up to 2 hours paid time to vote on the day of the election between the time of opening and closing of the polls. Your supervisor/department may specify the hours during which you may absent yourself to vote.


Reporting

Civil Service non-exempt and other hourly employees should report voting leave as an "Excused Absence W/ Pay".

Academic and Exempt Civil Service employees will not be required to report time to vote unless 2 hours constitutes a half day of work. Employees in this situation should contact their department for reporting procedures.


Resources

Time to vote in a general or special election is provided for under the State of Illinois Election Code, 10 ILCS 5/17-15.

See also Policy and Rules for Civil Service Staff, 11.14 Excused Absences Without Pay.

Certain Faculty and staff political displays are protected within the University of Illinois Act, 110 ILCS 305/60.

Certain prohibited political activities are detailed within the Illinois State Officials and Employees Ethics Act.