Campaigns ramp up as election winds down


photo by Kimberly Wethal/ Co-Editor in Chief

Kimberly Wethal, Co-Editor in Chief

As an election cycle spanning almost a year and a half enters its final weeks before the Nov. 8 election day, both voters and candidates for public office all over the state of Wisconsin are preparing for the ballot box.

On campus, advocates for the Warhawks Vote campaign are ramping up their efforts to get students to actively engage in politics. Around the state, candidates for local and national races were invited – and one in particular, disinvited – to address supporters and campaign for multiple candidates at once.

Across the campus

Fewer days until the election means a change in focus for Jan Bilgen, associate director for Career and Leadership Development, and the Warhawks Vote campaign.

The Warhawks Vote campaign is a collaboration between Whitewater Student Government, League of Women Voters, Marketing and Media Relations, Career and Leadership Development and the City of Whitewater Clerk’s office.

The campaign’s main goal at the moment is getting either students registered to vote for the first time, or pushing to re-register students who have moved to different addresses on campus since the prior elections.

“We really want everybody to be politically active,” Bilgen said. “We’re hoping that the drives scheduled for next week are really successful.”

Voter registration drives are scheduled for this week, twice on the Wyman Mall between the University Center and Hyland Hall, and one for each dining hall. The Wyman Mall events will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12 and 13. Drumlin and Esker Halls will see the Warhawks Vote campaign on Oct. 12 and 13, respectively, both sessions running from 4 to 7 p.m.

Absentee voting will take place from 5:30 t0 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 13 at the Career and Leadership Development front desk.

Once Oct. 19 rolls around, the last day the campaign can pre-register students to vote on campus, the group’s focus will shift again, this time working to ensure students are aware of the documentation needed at the ballot box.

The latest legislation pertaining voting in Wisconsin requires citizens to bring a valid photo ID in the form of a driver’s license, military ID card, passport or a voter identification card issued by either the state of Wisconsin, UW-Whitewater or a federally recognized Indian tribe.

Coming off of a record number of students voting on campus last spring in the April 5 primary election, Bilgen says the importance of registering young voters remains the same as it
always has.

“As an institution, we’re dedicated to creating global citizens who are politically active,” Bilgen said. “Politically active people need to vote … I don’t care how they vote. I just want them
to vote.”

Around the state

The past week, either the presidential candidates themselves or delegates to speak on their behalf were on the campaign trail
in Wisconsin.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) stopped in Madison last week Thursday to promote his primary election rival and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) and former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) crossed the state together last Friday to promote Clinton and Feingold’s rematch against Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), who won the seat in 2010.

At their campaign stop in Milwaukee on Friday, it was politics as usual with hash slung at Clinton and Feingold’s GOP counterparts, with inspiration woven in on the Democratic candidates’ impact on unionized workers and middle-class families in the region.

“From Wisconsinites from Wausau to Milwaukee, I’ve heard middle-class, working families are really struggling to pay their expenses, their rent or their child care,” Feingold said. “It’s at a time where people at the top are doing great … Why is it that working and middle-class families aren’t getting a fair deal? That has to change – and it’ll change Nov. 8.”

Clinton herself did not attend any rallies in Wisconsin, taking the week off to prepare for Sunday night’s town hall debate.

Republican nominee Donald Trump didn’t make a stop in Wisconsin this week either – but for a
different reason.

On Friday, the Washington Post released video footage from a 2005 Access Hollywood video revealing Trump making comments about how he made sexual advances with women, at one point saying that because he was a “star,” he could just “grab them by the pussy.”

Trump’s decade-old comments became the reason for House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) to be “sickened” enough to disinvite the presidential nominee to the 1st District GOP’s Fall Fest event at the Walworth County Fairgrounds.

Attempts from the Royal Purple to gain media access to the Fall Fest event went either unanswered or denied.

The other half of the Republican ticket, Gov. Mike Pence (R-Indiana) was set to show up in Trump’s place, but backed out before the event, leaving the event to focus on Wisconsin Republicans such as Ryan, Johnson, Gov. Scott Walker and State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester).

“It is a troubling situation,” Ryan said during the Fall Fest event, alluding to the party’s presidential nominee. “That is not what we are here to talk about today. Do you know what we do here at Fall Fest? We talk about ideas.”

Sen. Russ Feingold, Elizabeth Warren and citizens of Milwaukee rally for Hillary Clinton at the Marcus Center for The Preforming Arts theater on Friday, Oct. 7. photo by Kimberly Wethal / Co-Editor in Chief
Sen. Russ Feingold, Elizabeth Warren and citizens of Milwaukee rally for Hillary Clinton at the Marcus Center for The Preforming Arts theater on Friday, Oct. 7.
photo by Kimberly Wethal / Co-Editor in Chief
photo by Kimberly Wethal/ Co-Editor in Chief
photo by Kimberly Wethal/ Co-Editor in Chief