For Wisconsin visits UW-Eau Claire’s campus on Nov. 3

Justin Vernon’s organization toured campuses around the state

Mary Allessi

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Photo by SUBMITTED - For Wisconsin

The tour took place in the days leading up to the election.

Justin Vernon, Eau Claire Native and Bon Iver lead, created For Wisconsin as a non-partisan platform to motivate college students to vote. 

On Nov. 3, volunteers from For Wisconsin came to UW-Eau Claire’s campus to build enthusiasm for the upcoming election on Nov. 8.

“We were looking for conversation, not conversion,” Vernon said on “Conversation in voices designed to be heard by each other, not over each other.”

Their central message is to take action. They promote not waiting until the last minute to use your voice, according to their website.  

For Wisconsin set off on its APOCALYPSE NAH “Get Out and Vote” tour on Oct. 31, going around to different campuses in the UW System to prepare new voters to cast their votes.  

For Wisconsin volunteers went to UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Whitewater, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Lacrosse and UW-Eau Claire. Throughout the week they collected 2,038 pledges, according to their Instagram page, @forwisconsin_

Teddy Landis, a For Wisconsin volunteer, said that their mission is to be able to talk one-on-one with students about voting, to make sure they have a solid plan for election day. 

“We want to help students learn about their options to vote and encourage them to do so, as well,” Landis said. “Students are really excited to talk about who they are voting for, how they can vote, and to get some fun stickers along the way.”

For Wisconsin uses engaging experiences to capture the attention of their audiences, according to Volume One. Several students visited the For Wisconsin booth outside of Davies to receive voting advice, as well as a variety of stickers to spread their message. 

“Students are some of the most passionate voters in Wisconsin and the students at UW-Eau Claire are no different,” Landis said. “Two issues that students tend to be passionate about are environmental issues and economic justice.”

According to Landis, there are 300,000 college students in Wisconsin and if every college student voted they could make a major impact in Wisconsin and the United States. 

“Government is going to operate whether you’re participating or not,” Landis said. “If we are going to have these people leading us, I, as well as many other young people, want to have a say in who we put in office.”

Claire Herek, a fourth-year psychology and women, gender and sexuality studies student, said she was excited to see For Wisconsin pushing young people toward the ballot box.

“I love hearing about all the things you can advocate for and the way that voting affects our state,” Herek said. “I like to stay active when it comes to using my voice and voting, and these guys do a great job of spreading that message.” 

Voting is easier than some students may realize, according to Landis. 

“One thing that consistently makes students excited is when they find out they don’t have to drive home to vote, and they can re-register on election day in Davies or whichever voting site they are assigned if they live off campus,” Landis said. “Voting is easy!”

Allessi can be reached at [email protected].