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It’s time to make our voices heard this Election Day


November 3, 2016

Election Day is this Tuesday, Nov. 8, and it is important for UW-River Falls students to go out and vote.

Efforts have been made to make sure students know how to register and vote, and additional resources are available via a quick search of the university’s website. In September, the Student Voice conducted a Q&A with the Deputy Clerk for the City of River Falls, Bridget Hieb, regarding the basic information students will need. Student Senate has upped its efforts as well. The information is there, so there are no excuses not to vote.

Specifically, Student Senate is ready to deal with one major unique challenge facing UWRF students: voting district lines. The UWRF campus is split into two different voting districts, which means that students who live on the west side of campus (the Johnson, May, Prucha and Stratton residence halls) have to vote at the River Falls High School, whereas students who live elsewhere on campus can vote in the University Center.

To help students get where they need to go, Senate has helped organize a shuttle service. During polling times, 12-15 student leaders will volunteer their time to drive students in university fleet vehicles to and from polling places. This means that even if a student initially goes to the wrong place and gets turned away, a ride will be waiting just outside. We encourage students to utilize this.

Even if you work, you aren’t too busy to vote. If time is a concern, employees have certain rights that should not be overlooked. According to a Wisconsin state statute, employers are required to let employees take up to three hours from their workday Tuesday to vote. This time has to be requested in advance, though, so make plans now!

It should also be noted that your employer has the option to not pay you for the hours that you are gone, and they can set the times. For some, stopping by the polling place after work may be a better option. The polls are open from 7 a.m.-8 p.m., so take advantage of that.

Regardless of the outcome of the election, we need to remember to respect each other. We are not defined by our political parties, and everyone should have the equal chance to vote in the way in which they feel is right. Whatever happens, we will be OK. So go out and make your voice heard!