Time Off and Leave
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.