Rock on: Peoria Public Library to host event for first-time voters
The Peoria Public Library is hosting an event to help teach the process of voting and encourage people to make their voices heard.
Starting st 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 24 at the downtown Peoria main branch, first-time voters of all ages can see sample ballots, participate in a mock election on a fun topic and have their questions answered by local officials at Rock the Vote: New Voters Edition.
Jennifer Davis, public relations manager for the library, said the purpose is to promote civic engagement in Peoria County.
“Not telling people who to vote for, we’ll never do that,” she said. “But explaining how you can vote and explaining how to get involved in the process and use your voice.”
Elizabeth Gannon, executive director of the Peoria County Elections Commission, will be at the event to answer any questions voters may have. Dr. Cory Barker from Bradley University also will be there to talk and answer questions about the roles that social media and misinformation can play in elections.
Gannon said she regularly hears questions about how to vote, where to vote and what’s on the ballot. But she encourages any questions that might be giving new voters pause, including questions about election security.
“I remember the first time I voted when I was 18,” she said. “Going into that booth, I was terrified I was somehow going to mess it up. And you can’t mess it up. It’s your ballot and it’s your voice.”
The library will even have booths set up for people to use in the mock election — on a topic like favorite food or music — to give a sense of exactly what voting will experience on election day, which is Nov. 8.
In the meantime, early voting is underway. If you’re interested in casting your vote early with the election commission, or just want more information about elections in general, you can find more information at the county’s website here.