Red, white and blue pin with the words "Vote Roosevelt for President"
(Photo Credit: Joseph M. Jacobs Collection, Center for New Deal Studies.) A pin from an election campaign of University namesake Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

How will you make your voice heard during the 2020 election? Roosevelt University has joined the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, a national nonpartisan program that recognizes colleges and universities for their commitment to making democratic participation a core value on their campuses.

While it might feel like one vote won't make a difference, there’s strength in numbers as Roosevelt University students. According to the Pew Research Center, millennials and Gen Z will comprise 37% of  eligible voters in 2020.

Election Day — on Tuesday, November 3, 2020 — will also be a University holiday, so all students, faculty and staff have the opportunity to vote.

View the resources below for help casting your ballot.

Am I eligible to vote?

Voter registration rules can vary from state to state. To vote in Illinois, you have to be:

  • A United States citizen.
  • 18 years old on or before the date of the general election.
  • A resident of your election precinct at least 30 days before Election Day.
  • Not serving a sentence of confinement in any penal institution as a result of a conviction.
  • Only registered to vote at one address.

If you’re currently experiencing homelessness, you still have the right to vote! On Election Day, you can cast your ballot at the polling place assigned to the address on your driver’s license or state ID.

If you have a past conviction or were previously incarcerated, Campaign Legal can help you determine your eligibility.

How do I register to vote?

Illinois is one of 39 states with online voter registration. Once you’ve filled out the form, print it out and mail it in to the Board of Elections. You can check to see if your application has been processed on the Illinois State Board of Elections website.

Not sure if you’re registered or not? The National Association of Secretaries of State has an online tool where you can check your status or register to vote.

The deadline to register online in Illinois is October 18, 2020. But even after the voter registration deadline passes, Illinois voters can still take advantage of grace period registration, which extends through Election Day.

Keep in mind that you can only register certain designated sites during the grace period.

Where can I cast my ballot?

If you’re attending Roosevelt from out of state but you’re still registered to vote at home, you can vote there by absentee ballot. If you maintain a residence in Illinois as a Roosevelt student (even in the dorms), you can also register to vote in person here.

You just can’t vote or be registered in more than one place.

Will registering to vote affect my financial aid or dependent status?

Whether you register at your campus address or your permanent address, federal aid like Pell Grants won’t be affected, according to the Campus Vote Project. If you receive private or local grants out of state, however, the Office of Financial Aid can help you figure out your eligibility.

Registering to vote at a different address than your parents won’t prevent them from claiming you as a dependent on their taxes, as long as you’re a full-time student for at least five months a year.

How do I get an absentee ballot?

You can request an absentee ballot on Vote.org by selecting this link. If you’d like to vote by mail, the United States Postal Service recommends that you apply for a ballot as soon as possible.

In Illinois, all voters can vote by mail. The deadlines for requests for mail-in ballots are:

  • In person before November 2, 2020.
  • By mail inside the United States before October 29, 2020.

Learn more about voting by mail in Illinois.

How can I learn more about this year’s candidates?

What issues matter to you? Are you passionate about health care, education, immigration, racial justice, climate change? Compare politicians’ platforms to find out whose positions match up best with your own.

The nonpartisan site BallotReady can help you make informed decisions based on your beliefs and values. When you type in your address, you can see all your representatives and when they’re up for election. No need to memorize all of your choices — you can print a copy of your picks or bring your smartphone with you to the polling place.

Fact-checked voting guides in newspapers or nonprofits, like the League of Women Voters’ Vote411.org, can also be good sources of information.

Where’s my polling place?

You can double-check your polling place on the Illinois State Board of Elections website.

Do I need a driver’s license to vote?

You do not need any ID to vote early or on Election Day in Illinois, except for special circumstances.

If you registered to vote for the first time in Illinois by mail, and you didn’t provide an accepted form of identification at that time, plan to bring one of the following:

  • A current and valid photo identification
  • Utility bill
  • Bank statement
  • Government check
  • Paycheck
  • Lease or contract for residence
  • Student ID and mail addressed to voter’s residence
  • Other government document

If you register to vote during the grace period, you have to bring two forms of ID.

If you need to show your ID at the polls and you don’t have it, you can still vote by provisional ballot if you submit additional information within the week after you voted.

What about early voting?

Early voting starts 40 days before Election Day on Tuesday, November 3. All registered Illinois voters can choose to vote early — find your early voting place online.

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Old Joliet Prison
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The Old Joliet Prison, made famous by cameos in Blues Brothers and Prison Break, is a limestone monolith that sits at the start of Route 66 in Illinois. For almost 150 years, the penitentiary held thousands of prisoners with reports of appalling conditions. Then, in 2002, the building was abandoned.

Amy Likover with her father and Roosevelt professor emeritus, Frank Untermyer
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A place of inspiration and promise is the way recently retired French/Spanish teacher and neighborhood leader Amy Likover describes the Lake County woodland retreat in which she and her siblings were raised. It also served as such for many Roosevelt faculty, students and friends who visited beginning in the 1950s. Her late parents, Frank Untermyer and Ethel I.K Untermyer, were not only happy to welcome Roosevelt students, but also were committed educators, community activists and, later, philanthropists who supported those people and causes that moved and inspired them.