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YWCA McLean County Partners With Local Agencies To Register Voters

Tomorrow is National Voter Registration Day and several local organizations are working to spread the word about registration opportunities. YWCA McLean County will lead the effort with Not In Our Town, League of Women Voters, NAACP, and many other organizations and volunteers to hold registration drives throughout the community. 

Booths will be set up in Uptown Normal and on all of the local college campuses. Illinois State University Sophomore Sheldon Gooch said it is important for students to know they should be involved in civic engagement by registering to vote. 

"Too many times I hear students aren't registered to vote simply because they are disinterested in the process," said Gooch. "However, it is important that as students, we have our interests heard and are listened to with our values being put into action."

Volunteers across the country will be able to reach to members of their communities who will become engaged voters. Bloomington-Normal is just one of many communities participating in the nation-wide event.

League of Women Voters of McLean County President Kathy Tosh said it is crucial that everyone vote and make a difference for society.

"We have been fighting long and hard to make democracy work," said Tosh. "And unless we get out the vote and have our voices heard, we cannot make our democracy work."

Tosh said she wants to make sure there is transparency in the voting process and the polls. She said winning voting rights has been a historic struggle and we need to exercise those rights to ensure every voice is heard. 

Great Plains Laborers District Council Governmental Affairs Director Mike Matejka said voting is a great opportunity for every citizen to have a voice in this nation.

"We often fixate on Presidential politics, but we have to remember that voters control city hall, the school board and have an impact on many local issues," said Matejka. 

ISU students can find volunteers outside of Schroeder Hall from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Prospective voters at Illinois Wesleyan University can go to the IWU Memorial Center in Dugout snack bar and at the base of the Sodexo stairs from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 5 p.m.-7 p.m.  Residents can also find registration booths at the Jewel-Osco on Oakland and Tool Library on the West side of Bloomington.

Mike joined GLT's staff as a student reporter in February of 2016 having worked previously as a reporter at Illinois State University's student radio station, 103.3 WZND. He acted as a director for the WZND newsroom for two years. Mike was also seen as a reporter, producer, and anchor at TV-10 News. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism in May of 2017 before starting his post-graduate career with the Public Affairs Reporting Masters Program at University of Illinois Springfield.