Instead of feeling powerless about the situation in Washington D.C., Oak Park and River Forest residents can influence swing congressional races outside our safe blue 7th District.

Our college students in other districts give us a big lever. If you have, or know a family who has, a child at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), you can encourage the student to register and vote on campus for Betsy Dirksen Londrigan for Congress. There are roughly 220 students from our community at UIUC. All they need is a student ID and a postmarked letter addressed to them at their local campus address to register and vote at the Illini Union for about a week and a half before the election. Illinois’ 13th Congressional District, which includes UIUC, Illinois State (ISU), and about 10 other schools, is a swing congressional district, so our efforts there have a big effect on who controls Congress.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg —we have students all over the country that can do the same.  If you have a child or know someone at university, look up their school here: tinyurl.com/competitive-schools-2018 to see if they are in a swing district.

Specific registration requirements and early voting schedules depend on the local election authority. Here is a “how-to” doc for parents to motivate their kids and make a plan to vote, with details for on-campus early voting and grace period registration/voting at UIUC and ISU: tinyurl.com/vote2018-uiuc-isu-parents

Beyond the UIUC and ISU campuses, google the clerk of the county listed for the school found in the “competitive-schools” link above.

Control of Congress could depend on a few hundred votes in just a few districts. Talk to those students and make sure they vote in those swing districts.

Frank Hansen

Oak Park

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