Ripon is Ready!

October 4, 2016

–By Erin Grunze–
Thanks to the League of Women Voters in the Ripon Area, Ripon is ready for the November election. The first part of my stop in Ripon on Sept 28 was to Ripon College. There I met Leaguers well prepared to register students that morning and early afternoon. And not only were the Leaguers ready, so were student leaders. Three student Special Registration Deputies (SRDs) joined the registration drive to help register their peers. We had six SRDs actively registering students and a line that grew to at least 8 people deep during our busiest rush! This operation was really efficient and credit needs to be given to all parties involved. The City Clerk made sure SRDs were well trained. Ripon Campus provided a campus Registrant to verify student addresses. And student and League SRDs enthusiastically registered voters. My role was as cheerleader and answer women. I cheered on first time voters for getting registered. I cheered on SRDs as they filled out forms and kept on task even with hand cramps. I cheered on students for wanting to get involved in the their democracy. I answered questions about changes of address and re-registration. I answered questions from voters who are from out of state, but go to school at Ripon and told them their options for voting either back home or at their current residence. One question that I hadn’t had before was from a student whose WI State License had been stolen. I directed him to call the DMV on what he should do about replacing the license and making sure he is ready to vote in November.

In the afternoon, we moved to the Public Library. Things were much quieter. There was no line. Just a few library patrons coming and going. We asked if they had questions and if they were registered to vote. A few needed registration and voting information. Most were ready. A man shared with me had only missed one election in 46 years of voting and that he wouldn’t miss this one. I thought that was impressive and not many can claim the same voting record.

The voters in Ripon are ready. The Ripon Area League is doing great work within their community. The stop at Ripon College is another fine example of how to effectively reach voters when students, League, campus and the City Clerk work together. AND, we also learned the City Clerk made Ripon College an early voting site on Oct 12 and 13! Get out and vote, Ripon!