Division of Student Life Collaboration and Partnership Award
The League was selected by the Associated Students of Madison (ASM) for partnering with them, the City of Madison Clerk, and UW administration to bring voter registration, voter education, and in-person absentee voting to the UW campus in the 2016-2017 academic year. Paul Malischke and Ingrid Rothe, who were primarily responsible for establishing the collaboration, accepted the award on behalf of the League on Tuesday, May 16, 2017. The text of award letter (below) makes it clear how much Paul and Ingrid impressed ASM leaders.
Special Registration Deputies from the League and ASM worked together to register more than a thousand students to vote when they picked up their bus passes in August. In November, they helped thousands of city of Madison residents register and vote (in-person, absentee) at two campus locations. In February and April, League members, working as election officials with the city of Madison, also helped students and other city of Madison residents on campus to vote early on campus.
ASM Partnership Award
Submitted by Billy Welsh, ASM Vote Coordinator and Student Leader with the full endorsement of ASM Staff
ASM is very glad to give our Partnership Award to the League of Women Voters of Dane County. The League of Women Voters has been instrumental as an organization for protecting voters, educating and engaging voters, and reforming money in politics throughout the country. In my experience as the Vote Coordinator at UW-Madison, this group has been an incredible resource in all aspects of engaging students in the November election. Volunteers from LVW Dane County had been vital in registering students to vote, staffing our early voting locations for several weeks, and always being helpful in explaining the intricacies of voting in Wisconsin to myself and other students.
There were so many volunteers from LVW that empowered students to vote in the fall elections, but two volunteers stand out above the rest. Paul Malischke has been truly incredible in all of his work relating to engaging students. His depth of knowledge of all things voting was extremely helpful as I figured out how to best engage students, and his evident passion for democracy was inspiring to all who he works with. Paul has sent me countless emails on how to improve outreach to students, new information that ASM could use to register more voters, and tips on how to do my job most effectively. I am truly grateful for all of the time he spent on compiling this information, and also for his tireless work in volunteering for so many voter registration and early voting shifts. There is a strong possibility that he signed up for every single shift we had on campus, and he was who I relied on to make our events a success. Without his dedication to students, determination in making our events a success, and attention to detail I do not think ASM would have been nearly as successful in engaging with students for the 2016 election.
Ingrid Rothe has also been truly outstanding in her work with ASM throughout the election. She was present at many meetings regarding the details behind early voting at campus locations, volunteered for many shifts herself, and had a calm and positive attitude that was appreciated by all in our work with her. Ingrid also served as an amazing source of information, and helped me immensely throughout my job.
I appreciate both of their help so much, and can not think of a more deserving organization for this award. All of the volunteers made all things voting so much easier on campus, and were critical ambassadors of democracy to the student body. I am also honored to call both Paul and Ingrid friends. I had dinner with Paul and his wife as well as two Danish exchange students shortly after the election, and am still grateful for the hospitality and generosity shown to me. Paul and Ingrid are both inspirations to me as people who have been passionate about civic engagement throughout their lives, and are willing to devote enormous amounts of time to make sure that the next generation of leaders is involved in our democracy. One day I hope to exhibit even some of this passion, unyielding kindness to all who they encounter, and talents in organizing events and paying attention that these two people have demonstrated. Today more than ever we need to remember that there are so many people who are actively working towards engaging new people in our government, and these are the everyday heroes that make our community so much better. I want to personally thank the League of Women Voters for all of their help as Vote Coordinator, but also on behalf of the thousands of UW students who were able to vote in November due to the multitude of volunteers this organization provided.