THe Issues

Increase Student Voter Participation

Problem: Poor Outreach and Support for Student Voters

For the past few years, the county board, led by the county clerk’s office, has chosen to consolidate voting centers located in or near the campus community. Of course, saving and spending taxpayer money is something I take very seriously.  Equally as serious to me is protecting the voting rights of thousands of students. Political pundits and elected officials love to complain that the Millennial vote turnout is low in the state or national elections. How will it get any higher if we don’t educate students as to why they should vote, and give them the opportunity to do so? Students may not realize it, but municipal government affects their lives on a daily basis, from public transportation, affordable housing, to snow removal and more. They should get every chance to cast their vote and choose who represents them in government. College is the time when kids grow into adults, and it is important to teach students that participating in their democracy is not only a right but a responsibility. Hopefully, voting can become a habit that they carry with them as they move on from the University and join the workforce.

If elected County Clerk, Aaron pledges to:

  • Hold talks and informational meetings on campus with students to engage with them and discuss their views on voting

  • Collaborate with the University to encourage the students to register and vote while they are residents of Champaign County

  • Launch a social media campaign designed to increase student voter turnout

Digital Privacy

Problem: Interstate Crosscheck Program collects private voter information for a national database, disenfranchises voters (especially in minority communities).

Currently, 27* states are participating in the national Crosscheck program, which involves the federal government collecting state voter registration data, including (according to the Illinois ACLU) 8.6 million registrations and social security information. Illinois, unfortunately, is one of those states. This program is founded on unproven claims of voter fraud on a massive scale. An analysis of the program shows that it is faulty beyond question, it generates hundreds of thousands of false positives, which result in legal voters being removed from voter rolls. These false matches overwhelming flag minority voters. Beyond this, the program also raises voter privacy concerns, one of the greatest strengths of our democracy is that voter information is guarded by the states.

*Due to voter concerns and their lobbying efforts, some states have begun withdrawing from the Crosscheck Program. This is a currently evolving and timely topic. 

If elected County Clerk, Aaron pledges to:

  • Work with Illinois legislators and Illinois Association of County Clerks and Recorders to remove Illinois from the Crosscheck Program

  • Work with the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) program, which has proven to be the best practice for voter maintenance, digital security, and requires states to actively seek out and register unregistered voters

Voter Protection & Education

Problem: Voter registration process needs more awareness, consistency, and accessibility.

As the next Champaign County Clerk, I will demonstrate a strong commitment to open democratic processes at every level when administering the electoral process.  Part of that role is to enhance voter education and voter access. Under my leadership, voter education campaigns will seek to achieve near-universal coverage of the electorate. To do this effectively, it will require reaching out to disadvantaged groups as well as mainstream voters. Minority groups, students, and other marginalized segments of society will be a particular focus. Young adults eligible to vote for the first time may need education on how to register and cast a ballot. Our voter education outreach will include education and public service announcements encouraging everyone to vote.

We will not limit ourselves to posters and direct mailings to voters, my office will utilize a variety of communication methods to ensure that all voters have access to the information they need to confidently participate in the voting process. Under my leadership, students and other groups will be invited to assist in developing material that will resonate with non-traditional voters, and citizen input will play a major role in the Clerk’s office.

If elected County Clerk, Aaron pledges to:

  • Take a creative approach to reach voters of all demographics

  • Educate voters about their voting rights and the voting registration/voting process through social media campaigns and other media outlets

  • Protect the rights of voters and ensure that disenfranchised communities are given access to resources, enabling them to participate in our democratic system