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'Campus Cares' at WIU Works with Academic Department to Develop Voter Guide

October 22, 2020

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MACOMB, IL – Through a Western Illinois University collaborative effort surrounding civic involvement, and a partnership with the Department of Political Science, a guide has been produced to help voters navigate the Nov. 3 election.

"Campus Cares: Civil Engagement" was organized by WIU Multicultural Center Director Rocio Ayard Ochoa and college student personnel graduate student Austin Quarles, to prepare for the election and its outcome.

"This academic year has shown us that in times of crisis our greatest strength lies in our unity," said Ochoa. "The Campus Cares: Civic Engagement project's goal is to assist in preparing ourselves as a campus community for an influx of student needs, based on heightened polarized discourse that may arise as a result of the presidential election and its outcome. We believe it is imperative to be prepared to effectively and efficiently respond to the needs of students following the election, and it will take a collaborative campus effort to do so."

The voter guide was prepared by Keith Boeckelman, chair of WIU's departments of political science and history, along with Campus Cares and the McDonough County League of Women Voters.

"With many students having their first opportunity to vote in a presidential election, we believe it is important to clarify how voting works and to answer student questions, such as where to vote, what they will see on the ballot, and the like," said Boeckelman.

The guide highlights various voting-related options and is located below:

Guide To Voting – 2020 General Election

Voter Registration. Online Illinois voter registration ended on October 18. However, Illinois does have same day voter registration. You can register on election day at the McDonough County Courthouse on the square downtown. You will need to have an Illinois Driver's License or State I.D., as well as proof of your address in McDonough County, such as a lease, utility bill, or official mail.

Where to Vote. There are many options for voting, including early voting, mail-in balloting, and voting on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3. The Illinois Secretary of State sent out information on mail-in voting in September. If you are not using the mail-in process, you can vote early in the McDonough County Courthouse through November 2. Early voting occurs weekdays from 9-4, as well as Saturday mornings from 9-12 at this location. Early voting will also take place from 9-3 in the WIU Union during the week of October 26-30 on the first floor, conference lobby area. If you are voting on election day, you will cast a ballot at your precinct. Precincts are located throughout Macomb and McDonough County. To find your specific precinct's address go to the website and enter your address to find where to cast your vote.

What You Will Vote On: In addition to the electoral offices, there is an Amendment to the Illinois constitution that would allow a progressive income tax in Illinois. A "yes" vote will enable the state to impose different tax rates for different levels of income for Illinois individuals and businesses. A "no" vote will retain the current constitutional provision that requires a "flat" tax, in other words mandating that all taxpayers pay the same rate of income tax. Electoral offices that you will vote on include…

• President of the United States
• United States Senator from Illinois
• Member of the United States House of Representatives from Illinois' 18th Congressional District
• Member of the Illinois House of Representatives from the 93rd Representative District
• Various county offices, such as State's Attorney, Coroner, Circuit Clerk, etc.
• Seats on the McDonough County Board, which is the county's legislative body
• State Judges – you will be asked to vote in two types of judicial elections. First, there is a partisan contest to seat a new state circuit court judge. Then there will be various retention elections, including for the Illinois Supreme Court. For these latter votes, you are being asked whether a sitting judge should remain in office.

You can get more information on the positions of various candidates at the state and federal levels at You are not required to vote in every race. So, for example, if you only want to vote for some of the offices and leave your ballot blank for others, your vote will still count for the offices you cast a vote for.

For more information on the WIU Department of Political Science, visit

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