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What does Voter Education look like?

Written by on October 13, 2020

NORMAL, Ill. – Illinois State’s Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning is working on educating students and first-time voters on the election. 

After multiple events for National Voter Education week, events will continue to prepare students for the election. Last week they partnered with multiple organization to host a variety of events. This included a film screening, trivia on local candidates, and a focus on the importance of voting for people of color. 

The center will also be working with organizations to co-host a debate between the candidates running for the Illinois Congressional 13 District. The virtual debate begins a 7:30 pm on Oct. 13. The event will be streamed by WGLT and will be live on Facebook.

The Assistant Director of the program, Harriet Steinbach discusses the importance of these events.

“It’s really about bringing attention some attention to the election and all of the elections on the ballot,” said Steinbach. “The presidential race gets a lot of attention every four years but that’s not the only thing on the ballot.”

She says these events work to help students think about what they care about and to remain informed on who is on the ballot. She also explains that not only is it important to educate voters but to help first-time voters. 

” There’s research out there that says voting is a habit,” said Steinbach. “That’s why we see so many initiatives around higher education, colleges, and universities doing voter engagement work. Because for that population, for the most part, this is the first time that they have a chance to vote.”

Steinback says because the election can become so confusing, the center works to provide resources to help students. Students looking for guidance during the election can visit the center’s Redbird Voter Guide.