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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

NIU Student Center Will Not Be A Registration Location On Election Day


A voter registration site for students at Northern Illinois University will not be open on Election Day. 

The Holmes Student Center currently serves as an on-campus early voting site and a place for students to register to vote up through Election Day. But the DeKalb County Clerk recently announced the site would not be open for these services on Nov. 3, 2020.

The clerk’s stated reasons include a shortage of seasonal workers and the ability for students to register in their local precinct. NIU faculty member Laura Vazquez, speaking as a private citizen, said this sudden change contradicts long-standing guidance on how to register.

“If a student, for example, were not to be registered, they have been told since last year that they could go to the student center on Election Day, register to vote, and vote.”  

Vazquez said there are nearby precincts for students on and off campus, but the student center site is meant to be a place where students can register, change their information if they don’t know their precinct, and help take the registration burden off the local precincts on Election Day.

Vazquez is part of the All In Democracy Challenge steering committee, which promotes student civic engagement. In response to the change, the group is strongly encouraging students to vote early.