The Daily Illini

Consider where to vote, but do vote

By Audrey Dombro

I am an out-of-state student and I felt that “Consider where you register to vote” ignored the reality of my experience.

I live in Champaign-Urbana nine out of twelve months of the year  the other three depend on where a summer opportunity presents itself. Like most out-of-state students, I do not have the option to go “home” on weekends. Like all students, I buy groceries here, I use the roads, and I pay taxes on the income I make at my job here. This is my place of residence, and I refer to Champaign-Urbana as my home. Although my family lives in Minnesota, and I love my home city dearly, I left with the understanding I was moving forward.

If the only way I “feel the impact” of my own vote is by having long-term residency, I guess I should not vote in Champaign or Minnesota, or many places I go thereafter. When exactly is it appropriate for me to vote? Or for the rest of my life, should I only vote where I was raised as a child?

I deserve representation wherever I am.

Just like a family living in Decatur for generations, The University of Illinois, and its students each year, are a permanent part of Champaign-Urbana. The student population is counted in the C-U census and contributes to the federal funding that is allocated to the area. Participating in deciding how those dollars are spent and choosing our local officials and representatives is our right. The students that succeed us and continue to make up the University’s permanent presence will feel the lasting power of our votes.

Yes, consider where to register to vote, but do vote. And don’t feel pressured to vote in your hometown if your vote counts more in another place you care about.

Audrey is a junior in ACES.

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