The voting hype in Madison is at an all-time high, after the City Council established Sept.10 to Oct. 10 as Voter Registration Month.
Early registration will not only be a simple method for voters but will also reduce waiting time in line at the polls.
“This election especially is extremely monumental for this generation,” said Lavilla Capener, visibility chair for University of Wisconsin Students for Obama. “Many people have grown up only knowing Bush in office, and this election is a way to change the way this country is running. It is important for our generation to go out and vote so we can have a say in government.”
There are more than 800 people authorized to register voters in the city, including librarians and several people on the University of Wisconsin campus, said Maribeth Witzel-Behl, Madison City Clerk. More than 32,000 people are registered to vote in Madison.
Student groups, such as Students for Obama and Students for McCain, alongside University Housing, will be holding registration drives and working to spread the word about open registration.
Capener said a number of Students of Obama members, including herself, were deputized to register voters Monday so they can start registering voters at their kick-off meeting tonight at 7 p.m. in 3650 Humanities.
Students for Obama will also be hosting several voter registration drives in addition to registering students after each of their weekly meetings.
Allison Nelson, co-chair of Students for McCain, said they are not registering people to vote but are aiming to increase student awareness of the campaign by hosting town hall meetings in favor of Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. Their first meeting is Sept. 25 at Memorial Union.
Louis David, a representative from UW Housing, said pre-registration in dorms is being put into action.
David said UW Housing is not involved in voter registration, but said several student groups are planning on establishing times to register students in the residence halls. Once the groups schedule registration periods, residence hall residents will be notified through e-mails and fliers.
The Dane County Board of Supervisors is also declaring it Voter Registration Month to encourage the entire county to pre-register.
Voter registration applications can also be mailed to the City Clerk’s Office prior to Oct. 15. The application can be found online at ww.cityofmadison.com/election. First-time Wisconsin voters registering by mail must also include proof of residence.
Voters can check the status of their registration online at http://vpa.wi.gov.