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Perspective: There's change in the air

Arnaud Jaegers

I’ve been a deputy registrar since 2017, helping people register to vote. Until recently, the response has been somewhat disappointing.

But I’m pleased to report that recently we’ve seen a sea change. At two recent League of Women Voters registration events at NIU, students were excited to see us. They lined up, eager, even fierce, about the prospect of voting in November’s election.

I asked a few of the students what was motivating them to register to vote right now. No one hemmed or hawed. Every single one said it was the Supreme Court decision to overturn the constitutional right to an abortion.

One 19-year-old woman said, “I can’t stand by and watch them take away one of our rights. We need to do something about that. I come from a family that believes in voting and it’s time for me to get involved.”

This upswing in interest that we’re witnessing here in DeKalb is happening all over the country. Suddenly the prospects for the Democrats in the midterm election are looking better than just a few months ago. Angry at the Supreme Court’s decision and at the growing number of abortion restrictions and bans in many states, Democrats and Independents are energized to get involved and vote. Especially young women.

I know the pundits often dismiss the youth vote, saying they don’t vote in numbers great enough to make a difference. I think young people have been handed an issue that’s going to change that.

I’m Deborah Booth and that’s my perspective.

Deborah Booth retired in Fall 2014 from NIU, where she was the director of External Programs for the College of Visual and Performing Arts.