Proof of residency requirement not enforced consistently

By Daily Illini Staff Report

Students going to vote at area polls should remember to bring proper forms of identification or risk being turned away.

Deputy County Clerk Ted Apy-Tuhiso said he had been forced to turn “a handful” of students away before 10 a.m. because they did not bring approved forms along to the polls.

Ashely Koltac, senior in Media was turned away from two polling places Tuesday afternoon because she was not listed as registered at either location. After leaving the line for the Pine Lounge at the Illini Union, she said she might not have time to try a third polling place.

“This has been the theme of today,” Koltac said. “Some people didn’t bring their ID, didn’t bring this didn’t bring that. I felt bad because I was holding up the line.”

Acceptable forms of identification include a current and valid photo ID, a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the voter’s name and address.

Students voting at the Union and other locations have found that the rules are not being enforced consistently.

“It depends on the judge,” said Jenny Block, senior in Media, who was turned away from voting at the Union because she lacked proof of residency. “I think a lot of people didn’t come back the second time if they had to prove residency.”

At Lincoln Avenue Residence Halls, election judges allowed students to log into their University student accounts under their supervision to prove residency. In a 30 minute period Tuesday afternoon, about ten students proved their residency this way.

Students living in University residence halls may also submit a printed copy of their move-in form which is available at or get proof of residency at Clark Hall, 1203 S. Fourth St.

If the voter does not submit proper identification, is not listed as a registered voter for the precinct, has his eligibility status challenged by an election judge, received an absentee ballot but then chose to vote on Election Day, or voted after 7 p.m. he may be given a provisional ballot.

Gloria Andujar-Garcia, senior in LAS, attempted to vote in the Union Tuesday afternoon but was turned away because she did not have proof of residency.

“They just didn’t make it clear that students have to have proof of address,” Andujar-Garcia said.

A resident given a provisional ballot must then provide proof of residency to the Champaign County Clerk by 7 p.m. Thursday evening.

Samantha Powers, sophomore in AHS was given a provisional ballot when she tried to vote at Snyder Hall Tuesday afternoon. Powers said she was registered to vote but her name did not appear in the system.

“Sometimes they made people show their driver licenses and proof of residence but I think they stopped asking earlier,” Powers said.

Tom Smurr, sophomore in LAS, also said the election judges at Snyder Hall were only asking for drivers’ licenses and not for proof of residence.

Proof of residence was the only aspect of the polling process that was not working well, said Maddie Hall, an election judge and senior at Centennial High School in Champaign.

“Otherwise, things have been going smoothly,” Hall said.

Nicola Crean, Lauren Laws, Andrew Maloney, Melissa Silverberg, Kate Szyszka, Mary Beth Versaci and Marie Wilson contributed to this report