Early voting begins on campus

By Samantha Brockett

DeKalb County offered early voting and registration in the Holmes Student Center’s Art Gallery Lounge on Monday.

Students and residents can register if they missed the deadline to register in October. Early voting and registration are being offered until Nov. 3. NIU is one of two locations in the DeKalb County area offering this grace period, said DeKalb County Clerk John Acardo.

“This is a great opportunity for someone who may of missed the deadline to register to vote on Oct. 9,” Acardo said. “They will have the opportunity to register to vote at NIU’s location, and will be required to cast their ballot at the same time. They will not be able to do this on the actual election day.”

The NIU campus is able to hold early voting and registration because the Legislature passed a law in 2008 that required early voting be offered on college campuses, Acardo said. The reasoning behind the law was to make voting more convenient for students who live away from home, he said.

“Ever since then, there has been early voting and registration for every election held on campus,” Acardo said.

Acardo said he feels early voting is beneficial because it can help lower the high volume of people from voting on Election Day. Increasing early voting and registration numbers in the DeKalb County can decrease the amount of voters for election day, Acardo said.

“It reduces the stress of resources of our office on that one day and will be diffused over 14 days instead,” Acardo said.

Business graduate student Herby Weathers said he found early voting useful and the Holmes Student Center location convenient. Ellen Lee, social psychology graduate student, said she feels the opportunity to vote early and register on campus reflects well on NIU.

“This demonstrates to me that NIU is dedicated to providing opportunities for students to be able to be represented through the election process,” Lee said. Weathers said he participated in early voting because he wanted to make a positive change and feels voting is an important way of doing that.

“Younger people are always out to complain about how they want change and a difference, but do not actively do anything about it,” Weathers said. “I believe voting is an important step to making that change and that is why I voted today.”