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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 time off 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."

Specific information on the following topics can be found below:

Approval & Documentation

Please also see information regarding voting in a Primary election.


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.


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.


Civil Service non-exempt and other hourly employees should report time spent voting 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.


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.

Maintained by University Human Resources | Contact Information | Last Update: 12-February-2010 | ID: 4074