Voter registration was the focus of Pie Don’t You Vote and Rock the Vote, two events held on campus during the last days of Wisconsin’s early registration.
Pie Don’t You Vote was held at Spaights Plaza on October 16 in cooperation with the United Council and the Student Voting Rights Committee.
“It was awesome,” said Aubrey Kroiss, a UWM Sophomore studying Painting & Drawing and Art History.
Kroiss registered to vote for the first time at the event. She said that being of age to vote created a responsibility to be informed about politics, and that it is time to be involved with all of the resources available to her and other students.
Kroiss’ friend and Chair of the SVRC Vince Rolbiecki was one of the people being pied. She called it “good motivation to register.” Together Rolbiecki and Tereza Pelicaric, President of the Student Association, received about forty whipped-creme covered tin foils to the face to encourage last minute registration.
Stressing the importance of voting, Rolbiecki said that a person who does not vote cannot complain down the road if they are unhappy with the results.
Music was being played for the event and the UC’s Regional Field Organizer Nneka Akubeze encouraged dancing to make for a fun and eye-grabbing event, she said. Akubeze added there was “a great feeling, I felt good about it.” Almost sixty people were spectating at the height of the event, with some of them volunteering to get students out to the polls.
Akubeze also participated in Rock the Vote, held October 17 on Maryland Avenue across from the Lubar School of Business. The Center for Volunteerism and Student Leadership reached out to Rock the Vote, a national non-partisan organization that encourages voter registration and turnout year-round.
“It’s a less threatening atmosphere and way to register to vote,” CVSL Lead Student Intern Will Reichardt said.
Michelle Clark, the Rock the Vote Bus Tour Manager said that the goals of the event were to register voters, have people pledge to vote, and provide people with information about absentee ballots and ID requirements.
People who pledged to vote were entered in a raffle for a Nook and Wayne Lemmon, a freshman studying Forensic Science, won.
“They got people to [attend] it so it must be working,” Lemmon said. “Obviously a lot of people came out and had fun.”
Lemmon planed on voting regardless but heard about the raffle and decided to attend. He said that voting is a way to help the country. Nearly two hundred registrations were completed, according to Clark. She said approximately the same amount were gathered from UW Madison’s campus the day earlier.
The tour started this August in Florida traveling north-east to before traveling west. The bus is going to Colorado next, with four more stops planned until the end of October.
Ackubeze said there will be more done by the UC before November 6 that will focus on information about candidates following voter registration. Through all of the tabling and events, an estimated seven-hundred total registrations were completed by the deadline of October 17 at 5pm.
Election day registration will occur on November 6 where proof of address is required. Online documents will be accepted, so hardcopies are not required. As for the SVLS, next year they plan on repeating Pie Don’t You Vote but hope to do it inside the Union Concourse.