UW-Madison provides students info, tools to take part in Election Day

November 7, 2016 By Käri Knutson
Students fill out their ballots at a polling station in the Gordon Dining and Event Center during the November 2012 election.

Students fill out their ballots at a polling station in the Gordon Dining and Event Center during the November 2012 election. Photo: Jeff Miller

Election Day is Tuesday and UW–Madison has provided students with a variety of information and tools to help them succeed in voting.

For many students, this will be the first vote in a presidential election. UW–Madison has helped educate them on how to register and where they can vote. Because some students change addresses frequently, voter registration can be complicated. Videos, social media, and signage in residence halls and throughout campus have all helped spread the word about the voting process.

From Oct. 24 to Nov. 4, the Madison City Clerk’s Office and Associated Students of Madison offered one-stop registration and early voting in space provided by the university at Union South and the Student Activity Center. As of Oct. 31, nearly 4,000 people had participated, which will help relieve traffic at the polls on Election Day.

Other efforts include:

  • Posting signs in residence halls directing students to the proper polling place
  • Creating a web link that students could use on smartphones at the polls to provide verification of enrollment
  • Sharing information through vote.wisc.edu, social media and mass emails to students
  • Providing space to ASM and other organizations for voter registration drives
  • Providing a free voting-compliant ID card to any student needing one. (Students with a Wisconsin driver’s license, U.S. passport or other acceptable ID do not need the card.) As of Nov. 1, 5,915 had been issued.

“The opportunity to vote is key to our democracy,” says Dean of Students Lori Berquam. “Who students vote for is up to them, but it’s important for us as a university to provide the information they need before heading to the polls.”

More information about voting can be found at vote.wisc.edu.