Student Body President Mitch Dickey pushes for same-day voting registration next year

By Charlotte Collins

Although the Illinois Student Senate was unable to get a same-day voter registration location at the Illini Union for the Midterm election Tuesday, Student Body President Mitch Dickey is working toward increasing student voter turnout in elections next time around.

He spoke on his attempt at the student senate’s Wednesday meeting. 

Dickey had reached out to Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten in the weeks leading up to Tuesday’s election on the possibility, but was unable to secure it. Dickey said around 800 people utilized same-day voter registration at Brookens Administrative Center in Urbana.

“I had talked to (Hulten), this actually started about Oct. 10. I sent a letter to his office and didn’t hear a response back,” Dickey said. 

Dickey said Hulten believed it would not be possible to set up in time for the election.

“Moving forward, there’s really no excuse for this not to be in the law and also in (Hulten’s) interpretation of the law,” Dickey said. “We’re going to be working with the general assembly on clarifying as well if the general assembly decides to pass another bill that allows for same-day voter registration and same-day grace period registration.”

Additionally, the student senate passed a resolution to allocate funds toward advertisements for the “It’s On Us” campaign. Vice President-External Matt Hill said the advertisements are being put out in an effort to raise student awareness before the campaign’s Week of Action, held starting Nov. 17.

The senate allocated $200 toward YouTube advertisements and $250 toward bus advertisements on the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District for the campaign. 

“Previously we allocated (funds) for 500 T-shirts to pass out on the quad. We’ve allocated for flyers, but this was more about allocating for visibility, more digital ads, on YouTube, on TV screens, the bus ads, the Nov. 17 release of the students athlete video,” Hill said. 

The week of Nov. 17 will feature different activities for student involvement, all of which will call attention to pledging to the campaign’s mission and getting the word out to the University community, said Vice President-Internal Sarah Hochman, who is spearheading the campaign. Additionally, the student senate allocated $1,340 to send eight people to the Association of Big Ten Students’ Conferences.

Charlotte can be reached at [email protected].