In the time leading up to today’s election, non-partisan student groups on campus have remained involved in getting out the vote and encouraging discourse on issues pertinent to students.
Chair of the Madison Student Vote Coalition Hannah Somers said they have been working since last November on their campaign to help students get out the vote.
MSVC is a non-partisan student organization designed to register, educate and make sure students get out to the polls, Somers said.
“The reason we’ve been doing all this is because we want students to have a non-partisan body they can go to with questions about the election,” Somers said.
Somers said this year MSVC registered more than 6,000 students and other people on campus to be able to vote. She said after the open registration period ended, they have been calling voters they registered over the past two weeks to answer any questions about voting.
She said even something as small as helping someone find his or her polling place is important to the larger goal about spreading the word about voting and making sure people know how to do it.
“It is important for students to vote because there are a lot of issues that we vote on that impact our everyday lives,” Somers said. “We all have values and things we care about that come up in the presidential election.”
President of Badger Catholic Jake Heyka said the organization is not a political one and refrains from allying with any one political group because it is a service-based organization concerned with serving the greater community of people on the University of Wisconsin campus.
Heyka said in preparation for the election, Badger Catholic, in collaboration with the Wisconsin Union Directorate and the Federalist Society Chapter at the UW Law School, hosted Ed Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, to speak about the history of court cases in religious literacy under President Barack Obama.
Regarding the importance for Badger Catholic to take action leading up to the election, Heyka said the organization wanted to be certain someone could speak about these issues. He said he was pleased with Whelan coming to speak because the event pointed out all the different ways the government has acted regarding religious liberty for Catholics in the U.S.
“In that, we wanted to be certain that someone could come and speak objectively about the true meaning of the different issues facing Catholics in this election so people could be conscious of their vote,” Heyka said. “And in that be conscious of the gravity of the circumstances that we face pending a reelection or a new administration.”
Regarding the importance of students voting, Heyka said students have the responsibility to vote what they want done for their future.
Social Justice Educator and Program Planner for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Campus Center Sheltreese McCoy said in preparation of the election, LGBT will have an election results screening.
McCoy said they will have an area in the Red Gym to watch the election results and added they will have a discussion afterward if people are up to it.
“For LGBT-specific community issues, it is super important for us to be involved because we need to make sure that we elect people that are supportive of policies that make our lives equitable,” McCoy said.
McCoy said it is important for students to vote because the different policies elected officials champion or oppose have great impacts on students.