By Jen WiecznerThe Daily Northwestern
Today is the last day to register at the Evanston Civic Center to vote in Illinois midterm elections this November.
Evanston City Clerk Mary Morris said she saw a last-minute registration rush Monday.
“Definitely more people came in today than have come in on prior days,” Morris said. She added that it was more residents than students, which she attributed to the upcoming election being midterm.
“It may be that some of the students want to vote in their home districts,” she said. “The big thing the students love is the presidential election. With a midterm election, I don’t think they are quite as interested in that.”
As long as a student is a United States citizen, 18 years of age by election day and has lived in the state for 30 days, he or she can register to vote in Illinois by postmarking a Motor Voter form today.
Students can also register in person at the civic center. They must bring two forms of ID, one with proof of current residence.
In case students cannot register today, Morris said they can do so until Oct. 24 at the Cook County Clerk’s office at 69 W. Washington St. in Chicago.
Student groups have assisted in registering NU students to vote in past weeks but don’t have any plans for today’s deadline.
Andrew London, president of College Democrats, and Chelsea Thompson, treasurer of College Republicans, distributed mail-in voter registration forms and information on obtaining and filing absentee ballots outside Norris University Center during New Student Week.
London, a SESP junior, said he mailed in between 100 and 150 registration forms filled out by students who were stopped by members of College Democrats.
Thompson, a Weinberg and Music sophomore, said he was surprised that most students who walked by him had already registered.
“I think there are more people registered than we give our campus credit for,” he said.
London said one Evanston voting precinct that includes NU students did not draw any voters to the spring primary elections, but he said this was because the date fell during NU’s Spring Break.
“We’ve made a larger effort this fall to register people to vote,” London said.
“If their home district is not very competitive we’re advocating that people register in Illinois because we think the more Northwestern students vote on local issues and state-level issues, the more influence NU students are going to have on public policy decisions.”
He said students could affect the tight race for governor, but students vary in the issues that are important to them.
“We want students to be informed on how their vote can affect those issues,” London said.
Although College Democrats must remain non-partisan in their efforts to register voters, London said he reminded students to register and vote at College Democrat meetings and through e-mails sent over the group’s 1,000-member listserv.
The group also sends weekly buses to take students to different congressional districts to canvas for the campaign.
Hispanic/Latino Student Affairs has also registered student voters. Last week the group organized a voter registration initiative with Alianza and other groups with Latino interests, including Lambda Theta Alpha sorority, Sigma Lambda Gamma and Omega Delta Phi, for Hispanic Heritage Celebration month in October, said Lijia Evariz, co-president of Alianza.
The groups registered more than 100 people to vote while set up at tables in the Technological Institute and Norris Oct. 2 and 3.
“We made sure to tell people that it wasn’t just for Latinos, and we did get a very diverse group registering,” Evariz said.
Reach Jen Wieczner at [email protected]