Scot Schraufnagel

A recent bill signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker made Election Day a state holiday. But political science research suggests that isn’t an optimum way to ensure voting access.

Northern Illinois University professor Scott Schraufnagel said a state holiday doesn’t guarantee certain groups, such as retail and farm workers, actually get time off.

“And the people who would get the day off (government workers, school employees and so forth) are people who generally tend to vote anyway.” 

Flickr user / kristin_a (Meringue Bake Shop) "Vote!" (CC BY 2.0)

States are working to expand remote voting to address the coronavirus pandemic, but what’s already in place can differ widely between them. 

Voters in Illinois currently have the option of requesting an absentee ballot, without the need for a specific reason.  Scot Schraufnagel is Chair of the Political Science Department at Northern Illinois University. He says other states currently have an easier voting process than the Land of Lincoln.

Northern Illinois University

Political conflict can be both helpful and harmful to local government. According to a new study, which it is depends on the nature of the conflict. 

A Northern Illinois University researcher surveyed city councils and other municipal bodies to examine two types of conflict. Political Science Chair Scot Schraufnagel said "policy conflict" is when lawmakers have differences of opinion on specific issues and laws.

NIU

Illinois is a much easier place to vote than it was a couple of decades ago. That's according to a study that shows big changes with regard to voting across the country in both directions. 

Illinois tied for 12th with Minnesota among U.S. states in 2016 according to the study's "Cost of Voting Index." That's up 21 places from the 1996 presidential election.

Democrats Turn Out For Chance To Flip GOP Districts

Feb 23, 2018

WNIJ continues to review important races in the upcoming Illinois Primary Election on March 20.  In this Friday Forum, we take a look at three Illinois Congressional Districts where only one of the Republican incumbents faces a primary challenge. Democrats have several hopefuls in the primary balloting in those districts.

Northern Illinois University Political Science Professor Scot Schraufnagel has noted before that incumbency has its advantages.

That may -- or may not -- be the case in the three Illinois Congressional districts we review today.

WNIJ continues to review important races in the upcoming Illinois Primary Election on March 20.  In this Friday Forum, we take a look at both the 14th Illinois Congressional District, where there is a primary competition, and the 17th District, where there isn’t.

In this Friday Forum, we begin a series of interviews about important Illinois Primary Election races. WNIJ’s Dan Klefstad talked with Northern Illinois University Prof. Scot Schraufnagel, chairman of the Political Science Department, about various statewide and Congressional races. This week, we start with the top of the ballot: the race for Illinois governor.