The Daily Illini

RSOs differ in midterm pre-election approaches

isha+kulkarni+The+Daily+Illini%0AJack+Moore%2C+junior+in+LAS%2C+asks+students+to+register+to+vote+on+the+Main+Quad+on+Oct.+9.+Political+student+organizations+on+campus+are+preparing+for+the+upcoming+midterm+elections+in+different+ways%2C+whether+it+be+by+campaigning%2C+canvassing%2C+debating+or+creating+discussion+spaces+for+students.+++
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RSOs differ in midterm pre-election approaches

isha kulkarni The Daily Illini
Jack Moore, junior in LAS, asks students to register to vote on the Main Quad on Oct. 9. Political student organizations on campus are preparing for the upcoming midterm elections in different ways, whether it be by campaigning, canvassing, debating or creating discussion spaces for students.

isha kulkarni The Daily Illini Jack Moore, junior in LAS, asks students to register to vote on the Main Quad on Oct. 9. Political student organizations on campus are preparing for the upcoming midterm elections in different ways, whether it be by campaigning, canvassing, debating or creating discussion spaces for students.

Isha Kulkarni

isha kulkarni The Daily Illini Jack Moore, junior in LAS, asks students to register to vote on the Main Quad on Oct. 9. Political student organizations on campus are preparing for the upcoming midterm elections in different ways, whether it be by campaigning, canvassing, debating or creating discussion spaces for students.

Isha Kulkarni

Isha Kulkarni

isha kulkarni The Daily Illini Jack Moore, junior in LAS, asks students to register to vote on the Main Quad on Oct. 9. Political student organizations on campus are preparing for the upcoming midterm elections in different ways, whether it be by campaigning, canvassing, debating or creating discussion spaces for students.

By Madalyn Velisaris, Staff Writer

Multiple partisan and nonpartisan student groups on campus are working on voter registration and campaign efforts as the midterm election approaches.

Combining resources, Illini Democrats is working with an Illinois Student Government task force, a nonpartisan group, creating a space where students can come together to discuss the midterm elections and register to vote.

Illini Democrats is also planning to put up directions on where to vote for certain voting locations, such as the fourth floor of the Illini Union, since it may be difficult for students to locate, according to Audrey Dombro, president of Illini Democrats and junior in ACES.

Other midterm election efforts from the organization include participating in Get Out The Vote, a nationwide effort to increase voter registration, and knocking on doors in the Champaign-Urbana area to canvass.

“Our first approach has been registering voters, and so we’ve been in campus residence halls this past month working on getting voters registered either here in Champaign, at their new places of residence, or at their home place of residence,” Dombro said.

As an out-of-state student at the University, Dombro felt she did not have adequate information on how to vote. As a result, she makes it a priority for students to know how they can vote and encourages them to plan ahead, such as submitting an absentee ballot.

“I like to really engage students about where their vote is going to count the most, because for me, that’s what matters,” Dombro said.

She also encourages students to vote early to dodge the long lines at the polls on voting day.

Dombro said people who want to get involved in election efforts should join campaigns they believe in.

She also said other partisan groups on campus agree with Illini Democrats on the importance of voting.

“We are on comfortable terms with the Republicans and the Libertarians on campus, and it’s been nice to see that voting is not a partisan issue,” Dombro said. “Everyone should have the right to vote and we all recognize that.”

Jack Johnson, junior in Engineering and president of Illini Republicans, discussed his views. According to Johnson, although the organization supports voting efforts, it usually focuses on long-term goals for the club, such as having speakers at its meetings, instead of focusing all of its time on the midterm election efforts.

“We’re not going to spend our time harassing people on the Quad when they’ve already been asked six times, when there are bigger and better fish, at least for our regards, to fry,” Johnson said.

He said although Illini Republicans may not be directly involved with campaigning, there are many members in the club who campaign independently from the group for people running in upcoming elections.

Johnson said Illini Republicans participated in a debate with Illini Democrats that ISG  moderated this month, with the goal of spreading conservative viewpoints and ideas.

In addition to hosting the debate, the ISG created a GOTV task force this year and has a list of activities to help with midterm election efforts, said Aishwarya Shekara, sophomore in LAS, student senator and chair of community and governmental affairs in the ISG.

“We’re also hopefully planning a dialogue series. That’s something that I’ve been working on, between the Illini Democrats, the Illini Republicans and the Illini Libertarians, which is going to take place on Nov. 1, but that’s a resolution,” Shekara said. “It’s still a work in progress.”

The dialogue series will serve as an extension to the debate held earlier in the midterm election series, she said.

The ISG task force is also planning to host midterm election-viewing parties, where students can come together to watch debates between candidates.

Shekara said since ISG is the voice of the student body, she is trying her best to include all sorts of voices to help with midterm election efforts.

“My mission right now is to get as many students out to vote as possible because students are the lowest demographic here, like in America, to vote and it’s so sad because we have such loud voices,” Shekara said.

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