News

Voting in Beloit

SEAN LITTLE, Staff Writer

Last week Ian Hedges’12 wrote an impressive article about the voter ID laws in the state of Wisconsin. The point being, in the upcoming April 3 election, you will not need a Wisconsin identification card with a signature on it. However, the Beloit College Democrats would like you to know that you should still get an ID from Residential Life that will pass in later elections.
“If students don’t have a passport, Wisconsin driver’s license, or new student ID, they will need a new student voter ID from ResLife. [The voter ID law] is on hold for the April 3 election, but is likely to be reinstated,” explains Renee Gagner’14.
Fortunately for you, the IDs have already been paid for. All you have to do is walk up to Residential Life, ask for a voter ID and go vote. These voter IDs do not have the magnetic strip on the back that will get you into our dining establishments, but they will allow you to vote.
The April 3 election that Gagner mentioned includes a number of relevant issues on the ballot. First being the school referendum, which will give $70 million to make Beloit school district buildings safer and more modern. This will also include upgrades in technology. Also, there are six candidates for city council and four seats available. The candidates are as follows. The incumbents are Sheila De Forest, Charles Haynes and Jim Van De Bogart. The challengers are Chuck Kincaid, Kim Mork and Mike Zoril. A seventh contestant, Dave Botts, is on the ballot but is longer in the race. Look them up, read about them and choose which ones suit you best.
Also on the ballot, wouldn’t you know it, is the presidential primary. If you haven’t already heard, the nation is going to elect a president this year. Perhaps it would be beneficial to cast a vote in the primary, perhaps not. Obama is running unopposed for the Democratic primary. However, even if you are a registered Democrat, you may vote in the Republican primary due to Wisconsin’s open primaries.
The last few things on the ballot will be elections for the county judge (choose carefully law-breakers), the school board and the county board. The school board and the county board will both go uncontested.
Students who live on campus will be voting in Ward 16 of the City of Beloit. These students will vote at the First Congregational Church, about a block to the east of the Poetry Garden on Bushnell Street. Students who live off campus should check the city of Beloit’s website for more information.

But what if you haven’t registered to vote? You may do it on election day, at your election site, with your shiny new identification card. If you registered last year but changed dorms, you must register at your current address. If you live off campus, bring proof of your address (a utility bill for example) to the voting site. Also, all students should know the last four digits of their social security number.
Polling sites are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on April 3, so you have a large window to make it down there. If you are going to be gone on April 3, feel free to visit the City Clerk’s office in City Hall during normal business hours to vote early.

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