Student Deputy Registrar
Registering to vote is the first step in participating in government and building a better democracy.
Since 1991, the Clerk's office has been training 18-year-olds how to register people to vote as part of its student registrar program.
As a result, more than 5,000 young adults have been trained as volunteer deputy registrars, and nearly 25,000 new voters have been added to the county's voting rolls.
As a trained student registrar, you can sign up qualified family members, classmates and friends to vote.
QualificationsA First Voter registrar must:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Be registered to vote in the next election
- Receive training from the Cook County Clerk's office
Sign up classmates
Student registrars can register fellow students who are 18 years old or who will turn 18 by Election Day.
Student incentives/registration drives
The Clerk's office will also assist your school in conducting its own Registration Day and raise awareness of the upcoming election. Many schools offer incentives for participating in the program.
Signing up voters
Student registrars use voter registration application forms to register qualified individuals who have two forms of acceptable identification, one with their current address.
Registrars return the completed cards to the Cook County Clerk's office within seven days. Eligible voters will receive a voter identification card in the mail within a few weeks.
The Cook County Clerk's office conducts training sessions at school for all student registrars. First Voter registrars must attend a one-hour training class and take the deputy registrar oath.
Deputy registrars' terms expire on November 30 every even-numbered year.
Student Deputy registrars are strictly forbidden from engaging in electioneering, which includes discussing politics, wearing buttons, handing out literature or promoting a candidate or cause while signing up voters.
Student Deputy registrars may sign people up to vote until the registration deadline - 28 days before an election.
Target voters outside of school
The Clerk's office encourages student registrars to register voters outside of school as well.
Although there are several ways for people to register to vote, some 250,000 qualified individuals (U.S. citizens who are 18 or older) living in suburban Cook County remain unregistered. Those who may need to register include people who have recently moved, changed their name, become U.S. citizens or just turned 18.
Student registrars can start by signing up their friends and neighbors. Village fairs, concerts, picnics, religious events and block parties can also present ideal opportunities to conduct a voter registration event. Ask an organization you're affiliated with about setting up a registration table at the next meeting or event.
Student registrars trained by the Clerk's office may register voters living anywhere in Illinois.
Plan activities outside of school
- Select a location. Always receive permission before setting up a registration area.
- Arrange for supplies. Make sure a table and chairs are available.
- Publicize the activity. You may want to print fliers or write a press release to promote the event. The Clerk's office can supply signs to post the day of the event.
Student Deputy registrar Application Form
Please complete both sides of the student registrar application form and return it to the Cook County Clerk's office. The Clerk's office must receive your application at least two months before the next election.
For more information, call the Clerk's Teen Democracy coordinator at (312) 603-1099.
Other High School Programs
- Student Judge
High school seniors and juniors serve as election judges.