Virtual event prepares voters for election

Library and League of Women Voters host Voting Basics


Dane Sheehan

The Irvin L. Young Memorial Library is located at 431 West Center St. in Whitewater Wisconsin.

Ben Yang, Journalist

The Irvin L. Young Memorial Library and the League of Women Voters of Whitewater Area banded together to put on a virtual event to help educate community members on how to vote in the Nov. 2 election titled Voting Basics: What you Need to Know to Vote in Wisconsin’s General Election 2020.

“We have a really big election coming up and we have more impediments to voting this year because of the pandemic, so we were just thinking of different ways that we can help our community get excited about voting and also share information with them about their options for voting this year,” said Torrie Thomas, the makerspace and programming librarian at the Irvin L. Young Memorial Library.

The virtual event took place Sept. 15 at 4 p.m. and was led by Julia Ross, the Voter Services Chair for the League of Women Voters Whitewater Area. In the presentation, Ross covered topics including information about how to register to vote, voting options and upcoming deadlines.

“I hope that voters will understand their options. With the pandemic, not all voters would want to show up at the polls for safety reasons. As a poll worker, I’ve already worked the April and August election under the COVID-19 protocols. In the presentation, I explain what voters can expect when entering the polling place on November 3. With so many other great options open to voters, I’d encourage them to choose the others,” said Ross.

Although this event is helpful for anyone who is eligible to vote in the upcoming election, students who attend University of Wisconsin-Whitewater can also use Warhawks Vote as another source of information about voting.

“If students would like one-on-one help with voter registration, requesting an absentee ballot, or have any question relating to voting, Warhawks Vote is hosting two voter registration drives, virtually of course. Voting in November is incredibly important, especially as students in Wisconsin. Tufts University ranks Wisconsin as the number one state where younger voters will matter in 2020. It’s incredibly important that you have all the information you need to vote. Youth votes matter. Your vote matters. Your vote is your voice, so use it,” said  Kennedy Cutts, UW-W junior and member of the Campus Election Engagement Project.

Individuals who are interested in viewing the event, but were unable to attend are still able to view the 27-minute virtual event on the Irvin L. Young Memorial Library Facebook page as well as on the library’s YouTube channel.

“A virtual program made a great deal of sense. The program can reach many more voters and potential voters this way. Our election laws change frequently.  New voters and relocating voters have a lot of hoops to jump through with proof of residency and the photo ID requirements.  Bringing the correct and official documents to this process will make voting easier for a great many people,” said Ross.