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Colleges Encourage Student Voter Registration

Written by on September 25, 2020

Photo courtesy Kathy Michael Facebook page

NORMAL, Ill.- On Sept. 22, representatives of  Illinois Wesleyan, Heartland Community College and Illinois State met to discuss getting students to vote this November.

Local colleges are participating in the All In to Vote Challenge. This is a nonpartisan effort to encourage college students to pledge to vote.

On the leaderboard this week: 

  • Goucher College
  • University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • Sinclair Community College
  • Pepperdine University
  • University of Hartford
  • Heartland Community College

Director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning Katy Strzepek says she is excited for this coalition of institutions to “create awareness of voter registration.”

There is a “competition” so-to-speak for one of these universities to have a higher student voter turnout than the other two. The prize? Bragging rights.

Popular topics discussed were how and when to vote, and efforts the coalition has made with the League of Women Voters.

The McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael and Bloomington Government Center’s Tim Mitchell want to remind participants that anyone can call the clerk’s office for a mail-in ballot. Or to call your hometown clerk’s office to avoid the dangers of COVID-19.

“Voting is your right and privilege,” said Mitchell.

All universities have plans to get this message out by tabling, sending emails and dropping into classes held via ZOOM.

The coalition was very aware that students may be dissatisfied with the candidates that political parties have put forward this election. Despite that, all members agreed that if you do not vote, you do not participate.

ISU student Zach Mobile says he is mailing-in his ballot. “Mailing-in is better than no doing anything,” said Mobile.

Bloomington resident Kellie Swan says her bestfriend works at the post office and that she trusts the Postal Service processes.

Important dates: 

Tue, Oct. 6- Close of Regular Voter Registration

Wed, Oct. 7- First day of Grace Period Registration

Sun, Oct. 18- Close of Online Voter Registration

Thu, Oct. 29- Last day to Receive By-Mail Application via the Mail

Mon, Nov. 2- Last Day of Early Voting

Mon, Nov. 2- Last Day to Receive Vote-by-Mail Application In-Person (you can drop your ballot off at the County Clerk’s Office)

Tues, Nov. 3- Election Day