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Stay politically active: Don’t let the virus stop you

Written by on March 12, 2020

Photo courtesy to CDC Facebook page 

NORMAL, Ill.- the Illinois State Univeristy’s American Democracy project understands that COVID-19 and the University’s extension of Spring Break will impact the upcoming Primary Election on March 17.

ADP sent out an email and stated, “Because civic engagement is a core value of Illinois State University, we would like to encourage you to still vote in the important election on Tuesday.”

The ADP said that there are several options.

You can vote by mail. If you are registered at your campus address and would like to vote locally, request a ballot by mail. Note that the deadline to request a ballot by mail is 7 p.m. March 12.

You can still vote on campus. If extenuating circumstances keep you in Normal, you are still able to vote on campus on Election Day. Polling places will remain open in the Brown Ballroom of Bone Student Center and the Rosa Parks Room at Watterson Towers.

The County Clerk will also have polling places set up in Watterson Towers, The Bone Student Center and First Methodist Church, which is next door to the Bone Student Center.

McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael said, “There will be a much lower turnout on ISU campus. The majority of voters at these locations are students. There are however, other voters from residents near these polling places and faculty and staff so we may have a steady but not high turnout.”

In 2016 the County Clerk had over 2,000 voters at Bone, this was before they decided to open a second location in Watterson.

“The good news is students who are at their home precinct now during the extended Break,  because of the Election Day Registration law, students will be able to register or re-register to vote while there at their home county with at least one for of ID with their home address,” said Michael.

As far as polling places closing, the County Clerk had two polling places who no longer wished to be Polling Places Tuesday due to health concerns.

Normal Precinct 10 – Evergreen Place Senior Living and Normal Precinct 21 – the McLean County Nursing Home will no longer be polling places.

However Michael said, “We have found sites very close in vicinity to these locations which will serve as Polling Places.”

For Evergreen Place, voters have been notified by mail to go to Cardinal Court Community Center to vote on Election Day, and the Nursing Home precinct voters have been notified by mail to go to the Fairview Aqua Center to vote on Election Day.

The Dean of Students and Co-Chair to American Democracy Project John Davenport said, “With the extended spring break I anticipate some lower numbers than usual at the Bone and Watterson Towers.”

If this pandemic is causing you to stay at home the ADP said,  you can vote at home. Illinois has same-day voter registration. If you have previously registered at your campus address, or if you have not yet registered to vote, simply visit the polling place for your permanent  address and register there on Tuesday.

“ADP encourages all student, wherever they will be on next Tuesday, to vote,” said Davenport.

Michael said you can also, “take advantage of Early Voting ongoing at the government center, downtown Bloomington, 115 E. Washington Street. We’ll be open Friday until 7 p.m. then certain hours Saturday, Sunday and Monday.”