DeKalb Judges help in SA Senate elections


If Student Association members wanted experienced election judges for the Senate election, they got their wish.

DeKalb County Judges Albert and Jean Riipi administered ballots for the SA Senate election in the Founders Memorial Library Tuesday. The couple have about 60 years of combined experience as election judges. They’ve been married for 54 years.

“I started [being a judge] about 40 years ago when Albert was a firefighter for DeKalb,” Jean Riipi said. “I am a big supporter of voting and this my way of helping the cause.”

Albert, a firefighter for the DeKalb Fire Department from 1954 to 1986, has deep connections with NIU. The 81-year-old DeKalb resident played tackle for the 1944 Huskies football team.

“That was a fun year for me,” Albert said. “I only played that year because I went to the Navy and was there until 1946.”

The SA selects its judges from a list produced by the DeKalb County Clerk’s office. After receiving a list of available judges for the election dates, the SA calls them to see if they are interested.

Another judge with his fair share of experience is Arra Garab. The 78-year-old DeKalb resident administered ballots in the Holmes Student Center Tuesday.

Garab, like the Riipis, also has a deep connection with NIU.

“I taught English here from 1966 to 1995,” Garab said. “This is my way of keeping in contact with students. When I retired in 1995, I lost that connection.”

Voting continues today at DuSable Hall, Founders Library, the Campus Recreation Center and the HSC Bus turnaround from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Students must have their NIU OneCard to vote.