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Voter Engagement Coalition

The Voter Engagement Coalition is a non-partisan initiative supporting Illinois State's core value of civic engagement through electoral engagement. Nonpartisanship guides how we interact with all members of the Illinois State and McLean County community. It allows us to focus on building the strongest relationships possible to support voter access and create opportunities for students to participate in the democratic process. Participating in democratic processes are political, but do not have to be ideological. Voting is a constitutional right and we believe elections should be inclusive. We envision a democracy that is truly of all people, by all people, and for all people. Time and energy of coalition members is dedicated to supporting all students who want to participate in the electoral process, to achieve full participation in our democracy.

  • voter engagement model

    How We Approach Student Voter Engagement

    Illinois State University approaches voter engagement in three staggered yet overlapping stages. We focus first on helping students to register to vote. Then we help students to be informed about the current election so they know who is on the ballot and access resources to help them determine how they will vote. Finally, we focus on turnout so students know the ways they can vote and receive the final encouragement to cast their ballot. The phases are grounded in campus advocates. Equipping students with registration, education, and turnout information requires the support and advocacy from faculty, staff, and students throughout campus. All of this work is underscored by voter restoration which seeks to educate the campus community on the historical and present-day barriers that marginalized peoples experience as well as strive for unequivocable voter access for all people.


    Voter Friendly Campus Designation

    Illinois State University is officially a Voter Friendly Campus! This national designation came after over a year of work from the Voter Engagement Coalition and the entire campus community. In January 2020, the Voter Engagement Coalition created the University's initial Voter Engagement Plan as a step toward earning the designation, an initiative sponsored by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators and the Campus Vote Project's Fair Elections Center. The Coalition submitted an analysis of their plan and campus results in January 2021 and received the designation in March 2021. We completed this cycle again in 2021 and 2022 and were designated as a Voter Friendly Campus for 2023-24 as well. Both initial plans and final reports are listed below. See this news article for more information about the designation.

    ALL-IN Voter Engagement Plan, 2022  2022 Final Report

    Voter Friendly Campus 2023-2024 Badge

Coalition Members

Interested in supporting student political engagement? We'd love to hear your ideas and work with you. Email the Center for Civic Engagement..

  • Kelly Benacka Anderson, Athletics
  • Angela Bonnell, Milner Library
  • Caitlin Bradford, Center for Civic Engagement
  • Christine Bruckner, Office of Sustainability
  • Paige Buschman, Center for Civic Engagement (chair)
  • Kerri Calvert, Health Promotion and Wellness
  • Tashay Dennie, Dean of Students Office
  • Steve Hunt, School of Communication
  • Chad Kahl, Milner Library
  • Jackie Lanier, Health Sciences
  • Meghan Leonard, Politics & Government
  • Melissa Libert, WGLT
  • Dillon Maher, Office of Admissions
  • Kelsey Orrill, Campus Recreation
  • Beth Porter, League of Women Voters
  • Katy Strzepek, Center for Civic Engagement
  • Steve Suess, School of Communication
  • Megan Taylor, Kinesiology and Recreation
  • Liz Thomason, University Housing Services
  • Rachel Waring-Sparks, Center for Civic Engagement
  • Lyndsay White, College of Education
  • Chad Woolard, School of Communication

Spring 2024 Election Intern

  • Allie High, senior, Political Science major