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University of Illinois students report spending hours attempting to vote

Voters waiting in line to cast ballots at the Illini Union. Some voters said they waited as long as two hours.

CHAMPAIGN – There were long lines for voting across the University of Illinois campus as polls came to a close for the midterm elections Tuesday. 

Some voters have said they waited for one or two hours to vote at the university’s Activities and Recreation Center, Sibel Center for Design and Illini Union.

“We went to another voting site, so overall we invested probably four hours of our time waiting just to vote,” said voter and student Izzy Hall, who ended up voting at the Illini Union.

First time voter Mixtli Rojas said voting was a nerve-wracking experience but felt it was important to participate in local elections.

“It’s important to vote, especially for your state because a lot of people think it’s not,” Rojas said. “It is, because it’s your state and it matters more.”

Voters spoke about issues like abortion rights, gun control, safety and the environment as issues that motivated them to cast their ballots.

“I was voting based on women’s rights in terms of candidates who were supporting women’s choice,” said voter Lauren Snyder, in reference to abortion rights.

Some other voters wanted stricter stances on crime from state leaders.

“We need to be tougher and more strict in getting rid of it and disincentivizing crime,” student Byron Hidalgo said.

Many voters on campus were unaware of reports of cyber-attacks on networks and servers at the Champaign County Clerk’s office, but many said they had the confidence in a secure election.

Some students said voting was a chance for them to fulfill their civic duties and have their voices heard.

“I think my vote matters a lot in a university area,” Synder said. “It’s important – as a student – as a young person to come out and vote for issues that I care about.”  

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