Bernie Sanders with NextGen and MoveOn at UW-Eau Claire

Senator Sanders visits Wisconsin universities to get students to vote

Bridget Maxwell

More stories from Bridget Maxwell


Photo by Bridget Maxwell

Nov. 8 is Election Day.

Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont among other prominent figures toured through Wisconsin for a final get-out-to-vote push for the Nov. 8 elections. 

Nextgen America and MoveOn collaborated to fire up potential voters with music and speakers about the protection of our rights and freedom at the ballot box, according to MoveOn.

The senator is endorsing Democratic candidates like the current Gov. Tony Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes for his “Our Future is Now” tour, according to WQOW

“The only true way to see the change you want in this country is to exercise your right to vote,” Mckenna Podbrscek, fourth-year psychology student volunteering with MoveOn and NextGen, said. 

Statewide races will be, once again, very close this year as new polling suggests by Marquette

Four years ago in the last election, Evers beat out then-Republican Gov. Scott Walker by a point percentage of 1, according to the Wisconsin Election Commission, demonstrating the razor-thin margin needed to win an election. 

Barnes campaign spokesperson Maddy McDaniel said from day one they knew this was going to be a close race. In these closing days, the focus is on mobilizing Wisconsinites across the state to turn out to vote out Republicans. 

Sanders said at the event his goal is to “stop a Republican supermajority from taking hold in our government by getting students to vote for democracy.” 

“Midterm elections decide a lot of things. They decide who gets control of the house and senate. Anything from getting Roe codified, to the decisions around climate change are decided by the midterms,” Kharrazi said. 

Democrats, along with Sanders, are also encouraging voting for low-budget state legislators, not just the known faces, according to WQOW

However, the win of such legislators is slim due to Wisconsin being “the most gerrymandered state legislature in the country,” according to the New York Times. 

Mana Kharrazi with MoveOn said, “The generations that have done the most are facing the biggest challenges.”

In the last race in 2018, Wisconsin saw a record-high voter turnout for midterm elections, with 60 percent of the estimated voting age population, according to the Wisconsin Election Commission.  

Kharrazi said, “There is a lot of power in voting for young people, and I think that is something that is easy to forget. Anytime we’ve had them (Generation Z) engaged, they have been groundbreaking in the ways they move their country.”

The former presidential candidate’s tour is aimed at continuing or growing the voter turnout, like the election prior. 

Opening for the event was Eau Claire’s own, Uncommon Denominator, followed by speakers representing NextGen America and MoveOn. 

Taking place in the Ojibwe Ballroom, many students, staff and community members lined up to hear the Senator speak. Following the affair, buses were awaiting the attendees to take them to the polls to vote. 

Sanders scheduled stops in Eau Claire, La Crosse and Madison for Friday, Nov. 4 before hitting the next leg of his tour. 

Maxwell can be reached at [email protected].