Fair Wisconsin urges students to “Go All the Way on Election Day

Michael Schreiber

Many students intend to vote in the upcoming elections Nov. 4, but, after checking the box for their chosen presidential candidate, student voters may be surprised they are expected to vote in a number of other elections.
To prevent the phenomenon of voter disorientation at the polls, the group Fair Wisconsin is working at campuses throughout the state to promote awareness of local elections through its “Go All the Way on Election Day” campaign.
Christine Callsen, finance and communications director for Fair Wisconsin, said that the “Go All the Way on Election Day” campaign is focused on “mobilizing college students to participate in their local elections [and] vote all the way down their ballot.”
According to Callsen, Fair Wisconsin is also educating student voters about the relevance of local elections to issues important among college students, issues such as discrimination related to sexual orientation.
Fair Wisconsin’s platform has evolved from the 2006 campaign and the “passage of the discriminatory ‘Marriage Amendment,'” said Callsen.
Following the 2006 campaign, Callsen noted that Fair Wisconsin’s efforts to protect the rights of same-sex couples “have been blocked several times by a state legislature that was controlled by anti-fairness legislators.”
Because of these past disappointments, Callsen concluded that it “is vitally important that we elect pro-fairness legislators to the State Senate and State Assembly so that discrimination against Wisconsin’s gay and transgender individuals can come to an end.”
Fair Wisconsin is optimistic about the upcoming elections. According to Callsen, “The State Senate [already] has a majority of legislators who support fairness,” and the “State Assembly is only three seats away from a pro-fairness majority.”
In increasing voter turnout and securing majorities in the State Senate and Assembly, Callsen said she believes “Wisconsin can move forward in repealing discriminatory legislation and working to enact laws that will protect same-sex couples and their families.”
“In 2006, Fair Wisconsin’s effort to try to defeat the discriminatory amendment to Wisconsin’s Constitution helped to increase voter turnout in state legislative races,” said Callsen. “This year, we are looking to build on our past successes in increasing voter turnout on college campuses.”
According to Callsen, interested Lawrence students can help Fair Wisconsin in a number of ways.
Students who are registered in another state may choose instead to register to vote in Wisconsin, where local elections may be more relevant to them.
In addition, students may get involved on campus with Fair Wisconsin’s efforts to educate students about the issues and gather volunteers for Election Day. Interested students may e-mail students@fairwisconsin.com or call Lawrence’s Fair Wisconsin Campus Organizer, Ross Ipsen, at ross.thomas.ipsen@gmail.com or (920) 809-9091.
“Fair Wisconsin fights every day, all year, to promote fairness and equality for all citizens of Wisconsin, and we need your help!” Callsen urged. “Please get involved in your LU Students for a Fair Wisconsin chapter!