Early voting on campus this week

woman wearing tank top covered in "vote" buttons

The UIC community can cast ballots early — and in about 10 minutes — this week as the campus hosts an early voting site.

Voting and voter registration for the March 15 primary election takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through March 11 in Room 613 Student Center East. Early voting participants at UIC must be City of Chicago residents.

Participation from faculty and staff is welcomed, but the event is student-focused.

“Youth is traditionally the lowest voting group in America,” said Dick Simpson, professor of political science. The U.S. Census Bureau’s voting rates for 1964 through 2012 note that people age 18 to 24 have “consistently voted at lower rates than all other age groups” since 1964.

“That means that the decisions about who’s going to govern are being made by other people who do not necessarily have the same interests as the students,” said Simpson, a former Chicago alderman.

Campus partners that organized the week — including the Political Science Student Union, Faculty Union, Student Leadership Development and Volunteer Services, Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement and the Office of Public and Government Affairs — hope to inspire civic engagement.

“This is the first step towards empowering students to help shape their own democracy,” Simpson added. “The [upcoming] presidential election could well be decided in Illinois in this election.”

Students who want to learn more about candidates, campaigns and prominent issues are encouraged to check nonpartisan websites like Ballot Ready at ballotready.org, League of Women voters at lwv.org or Vote Smart at votesmart.org

“We want students to be informed,” Simpson said.

Those interested in registering to vote are required to bring two forms of identification.

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