With consistent low student voter turnout across the nation, the idea that legislators represent us is a stretch. In Wisconsin, which is consistently referred to as a “purple state” due to the constant swinging from party to party, voting for either side is incredibly important if you want your voice to be heard. In this state, no one truly ever knows which way the government will swing, and this impacts the lives of all Wisconsinites.
Voting is especially important for students. The way students vote directly impacts where certain funding goes to the state universities, including our very own University of Wisconsin. The past few years, more than 200 million dollars have been cut from the school, and with concerns over segregated fees and free speech, the only way legislators will listen to us is if we show them the power of voting.
Voting at a school such as this one, where the capitol building of Wisconsin is a ten-minute walk down State Street, is important because so many governmental decisions impact our flagship university directly, mainly because UW generates millions of dollars of revenue for Madison. The UW System generates millions of dollars, overall, for the state of Wisconsin itself, but doesn’t actually get the representation it deserves. Thus, voting as students, whether in Madison, Milwaukee, Eau Claire or anywhere in the state, is our best way to make sure we’re heard.
If you don’t vote, your rights as a democratic citizen in the United States are lost. If you don’t vote, you are limiting your own say in what goes on in the world around you, and what impacts you directly.
This spring is when the next big elections for our state are scheduled to happen. It’s the primary elections, deciding everything from which Democrat should run for Governor to which Republican should run for Senate. These elections are the prime opportunity for students to vote for candidates who believe in students, who want students to succeed so that these candidates are given the opportunity to run in the general elections this time next year.
Because student votes are truly important and impactful, the Associated Students of Madison is hosting their first annual Voterpalooza event on Library Mall, along with other bi-partisan community groups. The event is taking place on November 10th, from 12 to 3 PM, and everyone should mark their calendars; these 3 hours are times where you can begin to register to vote and learn more about the voting process.
Additionally, UW is competing against all other B1G Ten schools regarding how many people register to vote. Now is the time to show your Badger Pride, so come out and register, it’s quick and easy and there will be music and free food!
Malcolm Stern ([email protected]) is a junior studying political science and is the Assistant Outreach Director for ASM.
Yogev Ben-Yitschak ([email protected]) is a sophomore studying marketing and digital studies and is the Outreach Director for ASM.