Updated May 9, 2018.
As we work to empower every voice in our community and share the information, services, and opportunities that fulfill Oak Park’s aspirations, we often get questions about being an informed citizen. Here are answers to recently asked questions about becoming a more engaged community member. Have a question not answered here? Tell us now »
- See the 2018 Suburban Cook County gubernatorial election results »
- Mark your calendars for the 2018 Illinois general elections on Tuesday, November 6.
Am I registered to vote?
Where can I register to vote?
- At the library, register to vote during open library hours.*
Voting registration instructions
At the library, eligible voters who reside anywhere within the state of Illinois can register. You must be:
- A U.S. citizen,
- At least 18 years old by the general election, and
- A resident of your precinct at least 30 days prior to Election Day.
Bring two pieces of identification. Neither needs to be a photo ID, but one must include your current address. Acceptable forms of ID include:
- Illinois driver’s license
- Illinois state ID
- Employee or student ID
- Credit card
- Social security card
- Birth certificate
- Utility bill in applicant’s name
- Mail postmarked to the applicant
- Valid U.S. passport
- Public aid ID card
- Lease or rental contract
*Registration with deputy registrars at the library is closed during the 27 days prior to an election and the two days after an election. If you miss the deadline, you can register at the office of the election authority through grace period registration and voting. Locations and hours vary for each election. You can also register to vote online, by downloading and mailing in a voter registration card.
Get a referendum on a future ballot
Illinois is one of 24 states that allow a form of direct democracy called ballot initiatives. A ballot initiative can be officially created when a petition to initiate a public vote on a proposed statute or constitutional amendment is signed by a certain minimum number of registered voters. Learn more about ballot initiatives and signature requirements in Illinois »
Evaluate sources of news and information
Teaching people how to be better consumers of information is the fundamental task at the heart of our profession, as noted by the American Library Association. Check out these resources and stay informed:
- American Press Institute: Six questions that will tell you what media to trust »
- PolitiFact: Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking website
- Factcheck.org: A project from the Annenberg Public Policy Center
- Snopes.com: The long-standing debunking website
Understanding legalese and completing legal forms can be tricky. Use these resources to help you navigate legal forms and find answers to your civil legal questions:
Subscription-based library resources
Check Illinois: Offers background checks with search by name, property address, property PIN, or business name, including foreclosures, mortgage records, real estate transactions, building code violations, DUIs, misdemeanors, felonies, tax liens, and more.
- Legal Information Reference Center: Find legal forms and full-text legal reference books on popular topics.
Record Information Services: Provides data on new homeowners, new businesses, foreclosures and bankruptcy for market research purposes.
Websites recommended by our librarians
- Illinois Legal Aid Online: Find legal forms and get connected to legal resources. Get help navigating the site with real-time chat. (Please note: No legal advice available.)
- Illinois Courts: Find legal forms with step-by-step instructions on how to fill out the form.
- Free Legal Answers (Illinois): Email an American Bar Association volunteer attorney with civil legal questions. (Please note: Volunteer attorneys do not offer representation.)
Find out more about where you live
- New to Oak Park? Get a library card, and find welcome information from the Village of Oak Park, the Park District of Oak Park, Oak Park Elementary School District 97, Oak Park and River Forest District 200, and Oak Park Township. You can also sign up for Police Zone News by email from the Oak Park Police Department.
- What kind of community do you want to live in? Tell us now and see what your neighbors are saying »
- In 2014, the Village of Oak Park published “Envision Oak Park: A Comprehensive Plan for the Oak Park Community (pdf).” The 243-page document represents the collective effort of the Oak Park community to define a vision for the future and identify the actions to be taken to realize that vision.
- Oak Park residents interested in details of their Oak Park properties have a new online resource available through a Community Portal brought to you by the Village of Oak Park. Just by entering an address into the portal search window on a computer, tablet, or smartphone, users can link to a wide range of property-specific information, including zoning details, refuse collection dates, a list of elected officials at all levels, and more.
Connect with Oak Park taxing bodies
- Oak Park Elementary School District 97 (view calendar, sign up for emails)
- Oak Park and River Forest High School District 200 (view calendar, sign up for emails)
- Oak Park Public Library (view calendar, sign up for emails)
- Oak Park Township (view calendar, read news)
- Park District of Oak Park (view calendar, sign up for emails)
- Village of Oak Park (view calendar, sign up for emails)
- Find out more about serving on an Oak Park citizen board, commission, or committee »
Contact elected officials
When contacting your representative, it’s best to call them directly »
- Oak Park Elementary School District 97 Board »
- Oak Park and River Forest High School District 200 Board »
- Oak Park Public Library Board of Trustees »
- Oak Park Township Board »
- Park District of Oak Park Board of Commissioners »
- Village of Oak Park Board »
- Illinois state representatives and senators (pdf) (source: League of Women Voters of Oak Park and River Forest)
- U.S. representative by ZIP code, then street address (source: U.S. House of Representatives)
- Who represents you in the U.S. Congress (source: whoismyrepresentative.com)
- Federal and state legislators (source: Common Cause)
- More elected officials (source: USA.gov)