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Beyond the News

Voting opportunity, front and center

University Business, September 2018

Changing legislation is accompanied by growing interest in the convenience of voting on campus.

In 2013, when Illinois law called for four-year public universities to host early voting centers, staff at The University of Illinois at Chicago recognized an opportunity to boost students’ civic engagement.

Making campus voter-friendly: A number of groups, such as the Fair Elections Group, banded together for the UIC Votes initiative to make the university a voter-friendly campus. UIC Votes hosts civic educational initiatives, such as debate watch parties, forums and live candidate debates.


LINK TO MAIN ARTICLE: Removing ballot bumps on college campuses 


“We want to make voting part of our culture, and a part of being a student here,” says Spencer Long, associate director of UIC’s Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement.

Facility logistics: UIC facilities staff provide election officials with a large room in the student center, which is outfitted with enough outlets for electronic ballot machines. The building’s high traffic is a plus as it gives the site exposure, says Long.

Before the vote: Students are encouraged to register via a nonpartisan online platform called TurboVote, which also sends them reminders about upcoming elections.