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The Racquet Press

The student news source of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

The Racquet Press

The student news source of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

The Racquet Press

UWL students speak on voting in the Wisconsin primary

The Racquet Press
Sign outside of the Bluffs Ballroom. Photo taken by Jackson Skarp.

The statewide primary election polling site for University of Wisconsin-La Crosse students who live on campus or in District 5 was held in the Student Union on April 2. Students were able to vote on the presidential candidate nominee, the Court of Appeals Judge, the Circuit Court Judge, the County Nonpartisan Offices, the Municipal Offices and the School District Offices. Two referendum questions faced voters regarding outside funding of election administration.  

Every four years, usually around six to nine months before the presidential election, each state will hold a primary election where voters will vote for the candidate they want to represent their chosen political party. Those candidates will then run against one another in the general election this November.  

There are a few different kinds of primaries that states can hold, those being ‘open’, ‘closed’ or a mix of the two, often referred to as a ‘semi-open’ or ‘semi-closed’ primary.  

An article from said, “During an open primary or caucus, voters do not have to be registered with a political party to take part in its primary or caucus. During a closed primary or caucus, only voters registered with that party can take part and vote. ‘Semi-open’ and ‘semi-closed’ primaries and caucuses are variations of the two main types.”

The results of the Wisconsin primaries show former President Donald Trump has won the Republican nomination and current President Joe Biden won the Democratic nomination.  

 The Racquet Press asked UWL Student Emily Hamilton, a first-year history major, why she thinks students should be voting, she said, “I think it’s important to be involved in democracy and that our opinions matter and we should make them known so that it isn’t just people who don’t think like us running our government.”  

To vote in the primaries, voters must vote within their party affiliation. A second-year student at UWL said, “I don’t really like that it is a two-party system, I think that it just pushes a lot of division in our country.” 

 There are significant debates exploring different voting systems the United States could use in our democracy. This second-year student said, “I think it would be really nice if we could have a ranked voting system, because when we only have two candidates it can feel like choosing the lesser of two evils.”

This student identified affordable housing as a top issue on their mind as they cast their vote. Gianna Rath, a second-year student majoring in public health, said that some of the top issues in the election for her were voting rights and women’s health rights, both important topics in the 2020 presidential election.  

A variety of individuals volunteered to run the primary vote in the Bluffs, a mix of students, professors and volunteers from the community. Second-year Student Laurie Lieck, an English major, said, “It was pretty good, everyone was super nice and helpful, they were all doing their jobs as they should be.”  

Students will have the opportunity to vote again on Aug. 13 in the partisan primary, with the general and presidential elections happening on Nov. 5. More information on voting on campus, registering to vote and submitting an absentee ballot can be found here 

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About the Contributor
Jackson Skarp
Jackson Skarp, Student Government Reporter
  • Year at UWL: Sophomore
  • PGPs: He/Him/His
  • Hometown: Cottage Grove, MN
  • Major: Communication Studies
  • Minor: Legal Studies and Philosophy
  • Other Campus Involvement: Pre-Law Society Member
  • Future Plans after Graduation: I plan on attending law school after graduation
  • Favorite activity in La Crosse: Finding new coffee shops to study at.
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