The Advance-Titan

Oshkosh gears up to vote

Ti Windisch

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The Gear Up To Vote van will arrive at UWO on Thursday Sept. 22 outside of Reeve Memorial Union.Courtsey of League of Woman Voters

The Gear Up To Vote van will arrive at UWO on Thursday Sept. 22 outside of Reeve Memorial Union.

On Thursday, Sept. 22 a minivan outside Reeve Memorial Union will allow UW Oshkosh students to register to vote for the upcoming elections in November.

According to Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Andrea Kaminski, the League of Women Voters sponsored their Gear Up To Vote events on several high school and college campuses across Wisconsin in order to ensure students can vote.

“What many students don’t realize is that if they have moved since the last time they voted, even just from one dorm room to another down the hall, they need to re-register,” Kaminski said.

Kaminski said the process should be quick for students, provided they have the proper paperwork.

“If you have your Wisconsin driver’s license number…and proof of residency with you, it will take about five minutes to register,” Kaminski said.

Senior Jordan Black said expediting the process of both registering to vote and voting itself would make him more likely to vote.
“The biggest reason I wouldn’t vote is the inconvenience and time it takes,” Black said.

According to Kaminski, there are several different documents that can serve as proof of residency.

“To prove your residency, you’ll need an official document such as a paycheck or pay stub, a bank statement or utility bill with your name and current address on it,” Kaminski said.

Senior Mike Hovde said not having the correct documentation can be an issue for students trying to register to vote.

“I’ve seen people who go to things like [the Gear Up To Vote event] and don’t have the right stuff,” Hovde said. “I’ve had problems like that.”

Co-President and Voter Registration Coordinator of the League of Women Voters Ann Marshall said UWO is making it easier for students to prove their Wisconsin residency.

“The University has informed us that they are providing a document titled ‘Voter Identification Enrollment Verification,’” Marshall said. “ It is a letter that verifies the enrollment of the student and shows the address that is on file with the university. The student should be able to pull this up if they log-in to TitanWeb.”

According to Marshall, the other methods of proving residency still work but the Voter ID Enrollment Verification is an easy option for students with updated addresses on TitanWeb.

“This process will make it very easy for the student to provide the proof of residence without delay,” Marshall said. “It works for students living on campus and off campus.”

Kaminski said students should get involved and vote because the elections determine a lot about their lives and futures.

“The elections in November include President, Vice President, Congress, State Legislature and some local races,” Kaminski said. “These are the people who will be deciding things like your tuition, job opportunities, college funding and protection for our clean air or water.”

Kaminski said elections are a time when students get to voice their opinions on policy that can affect them going forward.

“This is your chance to weigh in on these issues,” Kaminski said.

Hovde said he suggested absentee ballots, a method that allows citizens to vote through mail instead of going to a physical location, as an option for UWO students not from the area to increase the number of student voters.

“I think more students need to vote,” Hovde said. “Absentee ballots are your friend if you’re not from around here.”

According to Kaminski, absentee ballots are only an option if the student still has an acceptable Wisconsin ID.

“Absentee voters have to include an acceptable ID with their absentee ballot request unless they are indefinitely confined,” Kaminski said.

Kaminski said there are ways for students to get involved and make a difference in the political realm aside from simply voting.

“Volunteer for the candidate of your choice,” Kaminski said. “Tell other students how to get registered and where to find candidate information.

Good sources are VOTE411.org and Wisconsinvote.org. And after the election, let your representatives know how you feel about the issues.”

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Oshkosh gears up to vote