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National Voter Registration Day
National Voter Registration Day took place on September 25th and the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) took part in being one of hundreds of locations across the nation hosting a voter-registration drive.
The purpose of the National Voter Registration Day is to bring public awareness to the necessary steps to become eligible to vote. The members behind the event suggest that in 2008, 6 million Americans didnt vote because they missed a registration deadline or didnt know how to register.
Mark Dochterman, director of the UIS Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center, said members of different student organizations, both Republicans and Democrats, worked together to organize the drive, which took place on the lower level of the Public Affairs Center.
David Gill, the Democratic candidate for Congress from the 13th District, spoke at the event. Rodney Davis, the Republican hopeful, was unable to attend.
Dochterman said he hopes the registration drive will encourage students to discuss issues that are most important to them.
At UIS, he said students tend to be either passionate about politics or disinterested in the process.
They get this idea that it doesnt matter if I vote, he said. Hopefully today, we can encourage people to vote and have conversations about why its important.
Hannah Cave, a sophomore at UIS who helped organize the drive, said many of her fellow students, especially those not from central Illinois, didnt know how to register.
Voting is one of the easiest ways to get your point across and what you want done, she said.
The two hour event was able to draw a large crowd into the Public Affairs Center, and the university was able to register just over a 100 individuals to vote.