With early voting having ended Friday, the University of Wisconsin campus is ready to take on the crowds Election Day Tuesday.
According to UW College Democrats President Chris Hoffman, there will be multiple voting locations around campus, including Memorial Union, Gordon Dining and Event Center, UW Welcome Center, Madison Fresh Market and Porchlight. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and lines will likely be shorter in the morning, he said.
In addition to the multiple campus locations, UW College Republicans President Jeff Snow added, having voter identification is no longer necessary to vote and students only need bring proof of residence on Election Day. Students can also register to vote the day of the election at their polling location, Snow said.
According to UW, acceptable forms of proof of residence include any official identification card issued by an employer or Wisconsin governmental body, a real estate tax bill or receipt for the current year preceding the date of election, a current residential lease, a utility bill for the period commencing not earlier than 90 days before the election, a bank statement, a paycheck, a printed copy of a current bursar’s statement or a signed and dated letter from your sorority or fraternity stating you live at that residence.
Individuals also may present proof of residence documents on a smartphone or another type of mobile technology device.
Student polling locations are determined by place of residence. There will be seven locations on campus for those in student housing.
Details regarding specific voting locations can be found at http://www.cityofmadison.com/election/voter/Where.cfm. Other voting information can be found at http://uc.wisc.edu/vote.
Democratic and Republican student organizations have also been pushing early voting and political engagement among students in general with hopes students will participate in this years election.
According to the Madison City Clerk’s Office, by Thursday, early voting had a turnout of 28,821 absentee ballots. The office suspected the number would surpass the 32,212 of the 2008 election.
Snow said he was confident conservative students would show up to vote either early or on Election Day. He said many students have signed the organization’s “Commit to Mitt” forms, promising they will cast their vote in this election.
However, Hoffman said youth turnout among college liberals might not be as great as in the past.
“I don’t think it’s that students are less enthusiastic about this election or that it’s less important,” Hoffman said. “But in 2008, we had had a horrible president for eight years who did essentially nothing for students, and I think that challenged the youth to vote more in 2008.”
Snow also believed the numbers of voters might not be as high this year.
“I think Obama’s lack of results and decreased efforts to target young people has caused a lot of college students to become more apathetic towards both his campaign and the election,” Snow said.
However, despite his prediction, Hoffman added he believes a large number of liberal students will show up regardless because they know Obama is the only candidate who will make progress and push the country forward.
Regardless of turnout, both Snow and Hoffman agreed voting will be easy for students this year.