Northwestern, NU Votes organize ‘Voter Van’ to mobilize students

Rebecca Savransky, Managing Editor

NU Votes, in collaboration with other campus offices, will be providing transportation to city voting locations Tuesday to give members of the Northwestern community the opportunity to vote in the midterm elections.

For the first time this year, Illinois is allowing same-day voter registration. Students who have not yet registered or have registered in their hometowns but have not voted via absentee ballot will be able to vote in the election.

The free shuttle, dubbed the “Voter Van,” is organized by NU Votes, the Center for Civic Engagement and the Center for Student Involvement. It is part of NU Votes’ effort to mobilize voters and encourage political participation. The van will leave from Norris University Center about every 20 minutes from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

For students who have already registered, voting will be available at both Parkes Hall and Patten Gym. Same-day voter registration will take place at the Civic Center.

The idea for the van stemmed from an NU Votes meeting where the team talked about voting barriers for college students.

“We’re very excited about the doors opened by same-day voter registration,” Weinberg senior Larry Svabek, an NU Votes co-coordinator, said in a news release. “But the Civic Center can be a far walk, and we realized that a lot of students don’t even know where it is.”

Burgwell Howard, assistant vice president of student engagement, sent an email Monday afternoon from NU votes to the NU community encouraging students, faculty and staff to vote and to take advantage of the free shuttle services.

The email specified what information voters must bring to the voting locations and provided tips on how to learn about the candidates in the election.

In addition to providing the transportation service, NU Votes is also running a social media campaign to encourage voter participation.

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Twitter: @beccasavransky