UWL College Republicans and College Democrats weigh in on Election Night and the ongoing election

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Mitchell Hall Polling Center. (Photo taken by Maija Sikora).

Morgan Hose, Student Government Reporter

Tensions are high as polling stations across the nation opened up to the public for people to begin in-person voting. The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse hosted a designated polling station located in Mitchell Hall from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. The presidential election, with Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joseph Biden, has not been decided yet as absentee votes are expected to be received up until Nov. 6.  

UWL College Republicans is a student organization dedicated to educating students, fostering Conservative principles, and further increasing student political involvement and awareness through the Republican party, according to uwlmyorgs.campuslabs.com.   

“I do think Biden is going to win, but it is going to come down to just 10,000 votes between Michigan and Nevada. I think Biden is going to pull away in Wisconsin but win in the end” said the Communications Director for the UWL College Republicans Alex Wille in an interview with The Racquet Press. It has since been confirmed that Biden has won Wisconsin.  

“Biden ran a lot of his campaign on the COVID-19 response and Trump’s handling of COVID-19,” said Wille when asked what issues Democrats and Republicans are most interested in this election. “I think a lot of people can agree that Trump, as a person, is not the nicest or most graceful and there were a lot of people that have left the party because of that in 2016.” Wille said, “Republicans are very economically driven and Trump speaks to that.”   

When asked if Wille thought that COVID-19 added any threats to the election, he said “I don’t think it added too many health risks to the election, but I certainly think that it could’ve caused some issues with integrity and voter fraud.” Wille did vote in-person at the Mitchell Hall location. “There was a good set-up that followed COVID-19 precautions and encouraged safety measures” 

“I don’t base my happiness in an election, so regardless of what the result is, I’m still going to be a happy camper,” said Wille when asked about his perspective on the election as a college-aged Republican. “I think this is a big election due to debates surrounding court packing, but I don’t think it’s going to change much.”    

“We are not just a club of Republicans, we have a lot of Democrats in our group, libertarians, independents, and even one person that calls himself an anarchist. We are diverse with our ideas and love to have discussions about our views.”  

The College Republicans have meetings every Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. along with various social events, group outings, and volunteer opportunities. You can email them at [email protected] to be put on their email list. 

UWL College Democrats bring together those who are interested in civic betterment and promoting the cause of good citizenship and the Democratic party, according to uwlmyorgs.campuslabs.com. They are a group of students interested in increasing political participation and promoting Democratic issues and candidates in the La Crosse area and greater Wisconsin. They are active members of the community, participating in events, and encouraging our members to be responsible, forward-thinking students. 

Savannah Zuzick, the chair of College Democrats, said “the election is closer than I expected it to be personally. I am pretty confident in Joe Biden’s win this election cycle, obviously, I am a little biased though.”  

When asked what issues are Republicans and Democrats most interested in this election year, Zuzick said “I think COVID-19 is a big one, specifically around voter fraud. I think COVID-19, in terms of the election process and safety, will lead to discourse between the safety precautions recommended during COVID-19. I think minimizing the risk of this pandemic is very important to me.” Zuzick also touched on issues such as reproductive rights, climate change, and Amy Coney Barret.

In terms of threats brought on by COVID-19, if any, Zuzick said “I don’t think it altered the way the election turned out, if anything it increased voter turnout because a lot of people are hit hard by this pandemic and want to see change and want this to be over. No matter what political ideology, I think everyone wants this pandemic to be over with.” Zuzick said, “This has been the first time in a long time that people haven’t been able to feel safe when going to the polls, other than voter intimidation, because of people being at risk.”  

“La Crosse has a huge impact on the electoral vote in Wisconsin, it is very fundamental for which way the electoral vote is going to go,” said Zuzick when asked if La Crosse has a big impact on the election in Wisconsin.  

“A lot of us are nervous, especially with how this election is very different from any other election cycle. Watching this all go down as a voter and being a part of this is very monumental,” said Zuzick. “Our organization has been focusing on helping representatives, voter turnout, and doing tabling and chalking during COVID-19.” 

Zuzick wants UWL students to know that the College Democrats is a really good place to meet like-minded people and be active politically. “We’ve had representatives come and talk to our club, so it’s definitely a place to learn, meet new people and also have that outreach and form of activism,” she said. “Every vote counts and every vote matters, if you voted fairly and safely, that’s all that matters, no matter how you voted. It’s part of your civic duty.”   

The College Democrats have meetings every Thursday at 6:00 pm on zoom. You can email [email protected] to be put on their email list.  

Results from the election have not been finalized.  

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