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Video Badger Talks video: Student participation in voting efforts

October 22, 2020 By Veronica Rueckert

It’s not often Wisconsin feels like the center of the universe, but this election season, it does. As a swing state, the Dairy State has been getting national and international attention.

That attention has kept UW–Madison political scientist professor Kathy Cramer very busy.  Cramer has been active in student voting efforts this year, along with offering analysis of voter attitudes, civic engagement and political communication.

In this Badger Talks video, Cramer describes her work with the BadgersVote coalition, made up of students, staff, faculty, and administrators coordinating student voting efforts. The group got its start in 2017 as part of the Big Ten Voting Challenge.

The students’ energy is a key component of the work maximizing student voter engagement. Cramer says, “They’ve been creative and energetic, and really it’s their efforts that drive the coalition.”

In-person absentee voting is currently underway on the UW–Madison campus, running from October 20-30.. In accordance with public health recommendations, it’s being held in tents outside. Cramer says workers are bundled up, ready to answer questions and help provide voter IDs.

While the lead-up to the election matters, Cramer is also thinking about what happens afterwards. Roughly half of population will be disappointed, she says. So Cramer is looking for ways to be “civil and good to each other on campus and beyond campus.”