Election 101 is now in session

Morning update: Wednesday, Sept. 27

Election 101 is now in session
Photo by Redd / Unsplash

Good morning, class!

In case you've somehow managed to miss the barrage of political ads, leaflets, text messages, and voter registration drives, there's an election coming up.

With all of the legal challenges and legislative battles surrounding elections in Wisconsin in the past two years, the Wisconsin Elections Commission wants to help voters understand what to expect on Election Day.

Enter: Elections 101.

It's a four-part video series the commission produced that explains how elections are carried out in the state.

Each video covers a different aspect of elections, from voter security to the "nuts and bolts" of an election, like registering to vote and requesting an absentee ballot.

“This is nonpartisan, factual information about the mechanics of elections,” the agency’s nonpartisan administrator Meagan Wolfe told the Wisconsin State Journal. “It’s not meant to persuade anybody to vote in any particular manner and certainly not to vote for any particular candidate or party.”

The videos also come with full lesson plans for use in high school classrooms. But that doesn't mean you can't use them to educate yourself and your friends, too!

— Hayley

P.S. Yesterday an astute reader pointed out the link to Alfredo's adoption page didn't work. So here it is again in case you're looking to add a new floof to your family.


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🗳 Former City Council President Syed Abbas won't seek re-election.

📚 Sennett Middle School's principal has left the district.

📊 A survey shows Black employees are consistently passed over for promotions in Madison.

🎓 The ups and downs of UW System enrollment.

  • Trending up: For the first time in years, the number of new students enrolled at UW System schools has increased. New preliminary data shows the number of freshmen and first-year transfer students rose 2% from last year. But the growth isn't equal across campuses. Only three of the System's 13 universities — UW-Madison, UW-Green Bay, and UW-Superior — added more students.
  • Falling down: Total enrollment across the UW System dropped 1% from fall 2021. When excluding UW-Madison, that figure is 3%. The System's two-year campuses reported an overall 9% decrease since last fall.
  • Why? UW System president Jay Rothman blamed the decline on the pandemic. He credited the increase of first-year students to the System's efforts to simplify the application process. Since the pandemic began, application fees for most System schools have been waived, except for UW-Eau Claire, UW-La Crosse, and UW-Madison. Additionally, students have been able to opt out of submitting ACT scores.

⚖️ The Jan. 6 committee wants Robin Vos to testify.

Who is Robin Vos?

Vos is the Speaker of the Wisconsin State Assembly. A Republican, he took office in 2005 and represents District 63, which covers much of Racine County in Southeastern Wisconsin.

Notably: In 2021, Vos appointed former Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman to lead an investigation into the state's handling of the 2020 presidential election. The review produced no evidence of fraud and Vos fired Gableman in August.

🍎 Your lunchtime read: Wisconsin districts seek solutions as school lunch quality comes under fire.

  • Via Wisconsin Watch: "When Sadie Perez entered Indian Trail High School and Academy on a November morning, school work was not on her mind. Instead, the then-junior was focused on an upcoming speech to the Kenosha School Board. She planned to bring a pressing concern to their next meeting — bad lunches.

    Like the majority of schools in Wisconsin, the Kenosha Unified School District offered free meals to students during the 2021-22 academic year. But Perez and other students started to notice smaller portions, what appeared to be undercooked meat and fruit and vegetables covered with dark spots."
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Morning update: Tuesday, Sept. 27

Correction: This article has been updated to reflect the fact that Syed Abbas is a former City Council president.