Campus shutdowns during pandemic hurl new challenges at Wisconsin college voters — 9/24/20

A roundup of top news and information about Wisconsin’s response to the coronavirus

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Today we highlight a story by WPR about how college and university campus shutdowns during the pandemic are creating new obstacles for student voters ahead of the high-stakes presidential election. 

“The disruptions to campus life and the possibility that students could be sent home during the final stretch of the presidential election loom large over efforts to ensure students are ready to vote this fall,” Rich Kremer reports. 

“…Wisconsin’s voter registration rules dictate that a person must live at their current residence for 28 days in order to vote from that address. At most UW System campuses, dorm residents began moving in at the end of August, which means some are just becoming eligible to register this week if they want to change their voting address. Some UW students won’t be able to register their campus addresses until the first week of October.”

Angela Major / WPR

UW-Madison student CJ Rockwell, left, is assisted by poll worker Clare Witkowski as he votes Wednesday, Aug 5, 2020, at UW-Madison.

Pandemic, campus shutdowns add additional hurdles for Wisconsin’s college votersWPR 

Aspirus leaders say central Wisconsin at “pivotal” point as COVID hospitalizations spikeWSAW-TV 

Answering your questions on rent and eviction during COVID-19 WPR 

Wisconsin eviction rates have slowed during the CDC’s moratorium, but landlords are continuing to toss tenantsMilwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Gov. Tony Evers calls on GOP lawmakers to lead by example and comply with state mask orderWisconsin State Journal 

Why Wisconsin’s state and local coronavirus updates differ day to dayWisContext

College asks for off-campus gatherings to stopWXOW-TV (La Crosse)

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“I do think the more restrictions you add on, there are gonna be some kids that aren’t gonna listen. …They’re just gonna say, ‘Well, I don’t care.’ “

— University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh student Gionna Scoma, speaking to WLUC-TV.

Food access trouble?

We know that when classes are virtual, many Wisconsin students and families lose access to food schools provide. And as the school year starts, some meal sites are closing. Share your experience with News414, Wisconsin Watch’s service journalism collaboration with Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service and Outlier Media. Click here for details.

You can also view a list of Milwaukee-area food distribution sites for students here.

Data to note

Wisconsin is seeing a surge in food aid recipients during the pandemic, highlighting the growing hardship families are facing, according to a Wisconsin Policy Forum study released Thursday. 

Following years of steady decreases, Wisconsin’s ranks of FoodShare recipients has grown to 724,200 as of August — increasing more than 120,000 since March. The number of households enrolled in the program now totals 378,200, an increase of 66,000 (21%) compared to last year, the report said.

Formerly known as food stamps, FoodShare is the Department of Health Services-run program to distribute federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to families in need. 

Here are the latest statewide visualizations of COVID-19 cases and deaths from our partners at WisContext.

Resilient Wisconsin

People helping others and showing resilience during this time of anxiety. Send suggestions by tagging us on social media — @wisconsinwatch — or emailing us:

Red Cross blood donors have a new way of helping COVID-19 patientsWTMJ-TV

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