Students vote for Ill. future

Students who have a voter card can check the upper right-hand corner of the card to see whether or not they need to bring identification. Without a voter card, there is no way to determine whether or not identification is needed, so county officials are advising students to bring some form of identification to the polls.

As Tuesday’s primary elections approach, one question on the minds of local politicians is student participation.

Robert Stefanski, president of the Political Science Club and senior in LAS, said student participation depends on whether students feel they can make a difference.

“I think students are always interested if what they are doing is going to make an effect,” he added.

Norman Davis, Republican candidate for state representative, also said that if students think their votes count, they will be more politically active.

“If they see that their vote does count, that they can make a difference, then more people will become involved,” Davis said.

Although Davis said he still expects student turnout for the primary elections to be low, political science professor and director of undergraduate studies Joseph Hinchliffe said students are generally more involved in politics than in the past.

Hinchliffe added that the tough economic times can affect a lot of people, which may draw them to the polls.

Davis said students should focus on long-run issues that will have an impact on their futures.

“They have to look at from not what is going on today but what is going to be going on when they graduate,” he said.

He added that while some things may not matter to students when they are in school, they will be more affected by state politics if they work in Illinois after graduation.

Many of the topics that politicians may address have a direct effect on University students. In most cases, this effect is financial.

Stefanski said students need to be aware of the status of the Monetary Award Program, or MAP grants, and funding for the University with these elections.

Despite these important platform issues, student-voter participation is mostly based on each individual’s interest.

“Different students have different interests and that is what brings them to the polls,” said State Representative Naomi Jakobsson (D-103), who is also running for re-election.

“It depends on how involved the student wants to be,” Davis said. “One thing that a politician is going to have to realize is there are just a number of people out there who just don’t care.”

Jakobsson said students who plan to vote need to look beyond the races for governor, senator and representative and be aware of all candidates in the primaries.

“It’s really important, I think, for students to look at the entire ticket,” she added.

Acceptable forms of ID:

  • A current and valid government-issued photo ID
  • A college-issued photo ID with either a copy of the applicant’s lease or any mail showing a delivery address that has been delivered to the applicant at that address
  • A move-in notice or room assignment card from the University Housing office for students living in the dorms
  • Any government document that shows a name and address including a current utility bill, bank statement, government check or pay check

Source 1: Champaign County Clerk Web site

Source 2: Rena Anderson, Champaign Deputy County Clerk

Compiled By Selma Haveric