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Undaunted by COVID-19, University of Wisconsin-Parkside will launch Election Experience 2020 beginning September 9, 2020. The Election Experience is comprised of a course as well as a series of co-curricular events from the beginning of the semester to the last day of class, and a coordination of class content to the co-curricular events.

Every Wednesday, beginning on September 9 at noon, faculty with diverse expertise will present topics related to politics and the election. These specialized “Brown Bag” lunch discussion events are open to the community and are designed to engage on a variety of topics. UW-Parkside Associate Professor Sandy Moats, an acclaimed scholar in US History, will begin with a session on the Electoral College and the recent Supreme Court decision that states can bind their electors to support the winner of the popular vote. Other topics include gerrymandering, immigration, art and social movements, and political humour.

On October 13, Charles Franklin, Director of the Marquette University Law School Polls, will provide timely insight into voter preferences, both nationally and locally.  Former Senators Dale Schultz (R-Spring Green) and Tim Cullen (R-Janesville), representing Fair Maps, will speak on the advisory referendums for Wisconsin redistricting on September 29.  And, on October 26, the Coalition for Dismantling Racism will be cohosting a panel discussion on voter suppression as part of their Courageous Conversations series. Dean Peggy James comments, “During these challenging times, we need to remember to keep our democracy healthy, as well as ourselves.”

The University, led by the College of Social Sciences and Professional Studies, has hosted the Election Experience since 2012 to increase issue awareness and knowledge of the political process, so that eligible citizens are motivated to register and to vote. The semester-long effort seeks to engage students not only in the presidential election through registration and voting; it seeks to build civic responsibility that transcends the campaign, and continues beyond the election. Community and civic engagement is a nationally recognized hallmark of distinction for UW-Parkside embedded in an institutional commitment fostering civic-minded students, alumni, staff and faculty who provide scholarship, leadership, resources and services to the local and global community.

Information for these events, and more, can be found on the Election Experience event web page.  Events will be live streamed and are free to the public. Registration is recommended. For more information about the program, contact Christopher Hudspeth at hudspeth@uwp.edu.

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