Early voting offered on campus for the first time


Emily Dimond

A sign directs students and visitors to the new early voting location in the Madison College Truax Campus Gateway

Joseph Craker, Sports Editor

Off-year elections are most commonly known for their low participation and turnout.  However, after a record 2.67 million Wisconsinites showed up to the polls last year and with the current political climate in mind, this year’s in-person absentee voting for the 2019 Spring Primary has seen a dramatic increase from years prior.

The voting station at Truax Campus has been no exception.

With the obvious omission of Tuesday, Feb. 12 when the city experienced heavy snowfall, daily participation at these in-person absentee voter stations was well above the past averages for similar elections.

For context, the 2017 Spring Primary had a total turnout percentage of 17.5 percent. If the general trend continues, numbers should easily exceed 20 percent on Spring Primary day, which is Feb. 19.

Ellie Rome, Student Program Advisor at Madison College, explained how these in-person absentee voter stations streamline the process for people looking to have a say in local politics. 

“One of the benefits is that any voter in the city of Madison can vote here.  Rather than having to find your polling place on voting day or request an absentee ballot, these stations have ballots for every single area of the city,” said Rome.

Depending on the voter’s district, these primary absentee ballots contain candidates for Mayor, Alderperson, Superintendent, or School Board Member.

Upon completion, the ballots are transferred to a vault downtown. From here, they are delivered to their respective polling stations on voting day, where they are counted with the rest of the votes.

There will be similar in-person absentee voting station at Truax for the 2019 Spring Election from Monday through Friday, March 18 to 22, and Monday through Friday, March 25 to 29.  Election day will be the following Tuesday, April 2.

Students are reminded to bring their  government issued ID to vote.

“For anyone who is already on campus or has night classes, it is very convenient. [The stations] will be open for a full two weeks before the election on April 2, so you won’t need to plan your day around voting like you normally do,” said Rome.

Local, off-year elections may not have the same flair as national elections, but they are just as important for making a statement or taking a stand. Taking the time to vote for the issues closest to home is essential for making your voice be heard.