Students who want to register to vote in Coles County will get the chance to this week at the voter registration drive.
The drive will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday outside of Coleman Hall and again at 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday outside of Taylor Hall.
The drive will continue from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday in Thomas Hall and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday in the Bridge Lounge of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.
The drive happens every fall semester, but in previous semesters it was a day long while this year it will be for the whole week.
Catie Witt, the executive vice president of Student Senate, said part of her job is planning the registration drive.
“It is especially important this year because the primary elections are coming up, and next year it will be very important,” Witt said.
Registering at the voter registration drive lets students avoid having to fill out an absentee ballot.
An absentee ballot is filled out and mailed before an election when a voter is unable to make it to the voting polls.
To vote in Coles County, students need to be registered in Coles County or vote with an absentee ballot.
Students need their state identification card or driver’s license to register to vote in Coles County.
Witt said she was hoping a lot of people would come to the drive.
“My goal is to get 1,000 people to sign up to vote,” Witt said. “I know that’s a huge goal and I’m hoping to achieve it, so I’m really just hoping for as many people as possible.”
Witt said while the turnout for last year’s drive was great; she wants even more people to register this year.
The political science association and members of student government will also be at the registration tables to answer questions and talk to people about the importance of voting.
Witt said when she is around campus, she often hears people say their votes do not matter.
“(By voting) you could actually change something if you wanted,” Witt said. “You have the opportunity. You have options.”
She said it is good for people who do not want to blatantly say their opinions, but still want to get them out there.
“I truly believe every vote counts,” Witt said. “Your vote could change everything.”
The Student Senate and political science association went to the county clerk, who gave them the materials to register students.
Witt said both the Student Senate and the political science association are both unbiased organizations.
“It’s not just Democrat or Republican,” Witt said. “We want to inform students on campus from all across the spectrum.”
Witt said the process of registering to vote is a simple process that takes about two to five minutes.
To register, students go to the registration booth and fill out a form; then the people in charge of registering them to vote will take the forms to the county clerk, who will complete the rest of the process.
Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]