UWS students focus on November voteA political science group at the University of Wisconsin-Superior is helping students register to vote in November’s election.
By: Monte Stewart/Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
A political science group at the University of Wisconsin-Superior is helping students register to vote in November’s election.
The UW-Superior Political Science Student Association is putting on a “Get out the vote” effort. They are teaming up with two political science classes, making it student led and student run.
They work tables at the student union, urging classmates to register. What makes this unique, maybe the only effort of its kind in the UW System, is they earn college credit to do it. The curriculum is designed to incorporate activism get people to register.
Political Science Association President Elizabeth Jacobsen is getting deputized so she can help register students to vote.
“It’s statistically shown that not enough people in the age group of the average college student register to vote and actually vote,” she said.
Political Science Professor Alisa Von Hagel hopes they can get 400 to 500 students registered by election time.
“We hope to achieve a high record number of students registered, but hopefully we really activate the campus to be aware of electoral politics and issues in their community as well as issues around the world that are relevant to them in their community, Von Hagel said.
The group hands out non-partisan flyers to inform students about candidates in Wisconsin and Minnesota races as well as the presidential election.
Students are being deputized which will make the registration process easier for Wisconsin residents on campus. That way students don’t have to make a trip to the city clerk’s office or have to get a photo copy of their ID. They also have voter registration available for Minnesota residents.
Von Hagel thinks college students play a huge role in an election.
“College students around the country are sort of notorious for not turning out to vote or remain politically engaged throughout the year,” she said. “So I think that this is an untapped resource that unfortunately a lot of campaigns and candidates don’t look to and don’t recognize so hopefully the students will come together and realize how important their votes are individually, but as a collective matter.”
Von Hagel says that students coming together to vote in numbers matters. So does social media. She says when a young adult clicks an “I Vote” button on a Facebook page; their friends are five times much more likely to vote.
UWS sophomore Elle Ervin will be voting for the first time this year and she believes her vote does matter.
“Because I could be that one person that changes the whole thing,” she said. “That one vote… you never know.”
There are also plans for the political science group to have a student gathering and discussion for the three presidential debates.
The group plans to promote registration every weekday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. from now until the election on Nov. 6.