From January 13th until 31st, students picking up their spring semester bus passes from the Student Activities Center or Union South will also have the opportunity to register to vote at the same location.
Volunteers will be available to register students and provide information on absentee voting as part of a voter registration drive sponsored by the League of Women Voters, the Associated Students of Madison and the Social Justice Hub Voting Team.
League of Women Voters member Beth Voltz, along with several others, volunteered her time to help students register.
“Were pairing up with the bus pass folks,” Voltz said. “As students come in to get their bus passes we’re able to register them or update their address if they’re already registered.”
In addition to November’s presidential election, which will take place on November 3rd, there are three other election dates in Wisconsin: the Spring Primary on February 18th, the Presidential Primary on April 7th and the Fall Primary on August 11th.
To vote in Wisconsin, individuals must be 18 years of age on Election Day and a U.S. citizen who has resided in Wisconsin for 10 days consecutively, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission.
Votlz said students intending to register should bring a proof of address, which can be displayed from a mobile device on each student’s My UW website page, go.wisc.edu/address. Students that have been issued a Wisconsin drivers license or an ID issued by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation must enter that number on the registration form. Students who have not been issued one of these will need to enter the last four digits of their social security number.
Out of state students lacking a WI driver’s license, passport or other acceptable voter ID may obtain a UW voter ID card free of charge from Union South at the Wiscard office, according to Voltz.
Students intending to vote must register if they are first time voters or have changed their address. But, volunteers encourage all students to check that they are verified online.
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“There have been questions about whether some voters have been purged from the voter database,” Voltz said. “It’s always a good idea to check and confirm that you’re registered before an election.”
Last month in a decision that has since been appealed, a county judge ruled that Wisconsin’s election commission must strike 234,000 voters from its registered voters database on suspicion that they have recently changed their address.
In addition to the voter drive, UW has supported voter engagement efforts through the Big Ten Voting Challenge — a voter turnout competition between BigTen schools, UW communications director Meredith McGlone said in an email.
This and other voter engagement efforts increased student voter turnout to 52.9 percent in the 2018 midterm election, up 35.6 percent from 2014, McGlone said.
“UW-Madison students garnered the second highest voter turnout [among Big Ten schools] in the 2018 midterms,” ASM press office director Matthew Mitnick said in an email. “By continuing to promote the Big 10 Voting Challenge and partner with campus organizations such as Badgers Vote, we hope to increase turnout to an even higher rate in the future.”