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Voting May Be Difficult For Some Illinois State Students

This story was written by Chris Davies, The Daily Vidette

To this point in Illinois more than 187,000 voters have already filled their ballots, taking advantage of new programs offered by the state. According to the Associated Press more than 111,000 of those voters have used early ballots and almost 80,000 have voted by using grace period registration.

Gary Klass, Illinois State University professor of politics, is one of those voters that took advantage of the early voting option. He explained that he was simply required to show a form of identification with his local address, which was verified with the McLean County Clerk's office by voting officials.

"One thing most people don't realize is that with the exception of Bloomington, everyone who is registered in McLean County can vote early at the Bone Student Center," he said. "This might be an easier solution for some students."

Many registrations have taken much longer to file than expected and some would-be voters may not receive their voter registration cards by the day of the election.

The individuals who will be most affected by this problem are those who were registered using the "motor-voter" registration forms. These individuals will need to bring two forms of ID with them in order to vote.

Klass recommends that students not simply rely upon a driver's license as their sole form of ID because it may not have their local address on it. He recommended a piece of mail or an ISU phonebook that would serve to verify their local address.

Sophomore general student Brian Gannon does not see this as a problem, but rather as a solution.

"In order to keep honesty in voting people should be required to prove their residency, otherwise they may be able to vote as many times as they would like," he said.

Arsalan Ashraf, a sophomore management major, disagrees with Gannon.

"It's really not fair because most of these students are first-time voters and it's going to turn them off. This is just one more reason for college students to be turned away from government," he said.

Though both students disagreed about the necessity of ID, neither argued the significance of this election, a point that Klass asserted.

"I think that this election will have quite a dramatic turnout, I wouldn't be surprised if this election had the highest turnout ever," he said.

Anyone who is unsure of his or her status as a voter can visit the McLean County Clerk's Office Web site, McLeanCountyIL .gov/CountyClerk, to check whether they are registered or not.

The early voting period is open until Oct. 30 from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday and 8:00 am to 12:00 pm on Saturdays. This option is available for anyone who chooses to vote early.

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