Are UW–Madison students ready to take on another election year? With the addition of the Badgers Vote social media intern, Cynthia Liu, the Badgers Vote Coalition is gearing up to prepare students for the upcoming elections.
The Badgers Vote social media intern is a new position housed at the Morgridge Center for Public Service — designed to keep pace with voter content and engage with students through relatable platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Liu, a senior majoring in marketing, information systems and radio-television-film, is managing the creation of all voting content across the platforms with the assistance of the Badgers Vote Coalition. She brings experience from her current role as a video intern at University Communications, but her interest in voter engagement stems from her previous work at theSkimm in 2018.
TheSkimm, based in New York City, works to break down important news for female millennials and Liu had the opportunity to push women voter participation as the social media intern. In efforts to mobilize thousands of women, Liu worked on billboard and influencer campaigns.
“Being there, learning and hearing from everyone on the front lines about the importance of my work and why the company cared so much about [the voting campaigns] was eye-opening,” Liu says. “I came back here and wanted to make sure we had that on our campus too.”
As an advocate for civic engagement, the Morgridge Center collaborates with a variety of campus and local units in Madison to get out the vote.
Voting on the UW–Madison campus saw a huge push in 2018 during the Big Ten Voting Challenge and the hope is that by having a dedicated social media position for voter content, it will help inform the many new and returning voters.
Liu acknowledged the disadvantaged reality of being a student voter, from it sometimes being their first time voting to potentially having parents that aren’t allowed to vote. Those situations create a barrier to young adults knowing how, where and why they should vote.
“It is really important for us to educate all students about the processes to help them along in becoming citizens who participate in democracy throughout the future,” Liu says.
Badgers Vote social media will focus on information regarding voter registration, where and when voting is happening and encouraging and educating students to get out the vote.
Besides the Badgers Vote social media, students can visit websites like vote.wisc.edu, Vote411 , League of Women’s Voter of Wisconsin and factcheck.org, that provide guides on key issues and information on what is on each ballot.
Generally, looking for sources can be a good starting strategy, but putting in effort to always fact-checking the sources will help weed out misinformation says Liu.
“Trust your judgment, fact-check your sources and engaging in civil dialogue with peers about their views to get a holistic picture always helps,” Liu adds.
While awaiting the Wisconsin Spring Election and Presidential Primary on Tuesday, April 7, in-state students should check to see if they are registered to vote at myvote.wi.gov and out-of-state students can visit Union South to obtain a free voter-compliant ID card to vote.
“The most important thing is to get registered, get a friend registered, get your parents registered and make sure you all know where to vote,” Liu states.