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Sunday, April 21, 2024
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Outreach Team uses invalid proof of residence

The Outreach Team, a consulting firm for campaigns, falsely registered University of Wisconsin-Madison students to vote by using Wiscards as proof of residence, according to the City Clerk’s office.

“Our election officials and BadgersVote interns were doing outreach on campus in early September and alerted us of what was going on with the Outreach Team,” said Maggie McClain, Wisconsin Certified Municipal Clerk. 

Students’ Wiscards are not eligible forms of ID. Some valid proof of residence include a paycheck, a utility bill within the last 90 days, a government-issued document or a college fee statement. All students have a valid proof of address in their MyUW Student Center.

Other forms of acceptable IDs include a U.S. passport and a Wisconsin driver's license. The Wiscard office at Union South issues free voter IDs for students. The City Clerk’s office also said they will support any voters who do not have any of these acceptable forms. If students received a follow-up letter from the City Clerk’s office, they can send it by mail until Oct. 19. 

“We’ve continued doing outreach on campus with our election officials and BadgersVote interns,” said McClain. “Our office is prepared to follow up with any voters whose forms lack proper proof of address documents.” 

BadgersVote is a campus-wide initiative focused on mobilizing student registration and turnout efforts in recent elections. A BadgersVote representative told The Daily Cardinal the campus organization is in no way affiliated with the Outreach Team. 

The Outreach Team did not respond to a request for comment. 

Through partnerships with Associated Students of Madison, the Division of Student Life, the Morgridge Center for Public Service, University Housing, the Wisconsin Union and elections officials in the city of Madison and Dane County, BadgersVote have helped encourage students to vote, according to Shelby Fosco from BadgersVote.

“One of the most important values we teach at our universities is the importance of civic engagement,” said Fosco. “Voting in elections gives our students a voice in the democratic process and in the decisions that affect local, state, and national issues.”

According to Fosco, voter turnout for those younger than the age of 30 is lower compared to older populations. This is prominent for midterm elections. In the 2020 presidential election, UW-Madison had a strong record of student participation with a student voter turnout of 72.8% compared to the national average of 66%. 

Outreach and voter registration events were held on Oct. 19 at the Memorial Library on the West Corridor. Students can also go to Memorial Union and Union South from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays from Oct. 25 to Nov. 4 for in-person absentee voting.

Students can also register to vote on Election Day, Nov. 8, at their respective polling location. Students can also check their voting registration through MyVote.WI.gov

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For more information about voter registration or voting in general, contact the City Clerk's Office at clerk@cityofmadison.com or check out the BadgersVote website.

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