Climate change, racial justice, and the future of our democracy are on the ballot for young voters

Yesterday, Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressman Mark Pocan hosted a virtual Get Out the Vote rally with Wisconsin students to discuss the stakes of the election and the critical role young Wisconsin voters will play. They urged young Wisconsinites to make a plan to vote and encourage their friends and family to do the same.

On the Edge News, student newspaper at Edgewood College, wrote:

Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Mark Pocan spoke to Wisconsin students at a virtual campaign event about the issues most at stake in the upcoming election. The Zoom event […] was part rally and part get-out-the-vote effort where attendees volunteered by making campaign calls to Wisconsin voters.

“We may be doing alright in the polls, but polls don’t vote, people vote,” Pocan said. He emphasized the importance of not only voting, but encouraging others to vote to help make a difference in battleground states like Wisconsin.

Pocan introduced Sanders as “America’s senator,” speaking to Sanders’s advocacy for progressive issues and for workers and working class families throughout the country.
Sanders focused initially on the issues of climate change, healthcare, infrastructure, education, and minimum wage, seeking to draw a sharp contrast between the Trump administration’s policies and policy proposals under the Biden-Harris ticket.

Both Sanders and Pocan underscored Biden’s plan to make public universities tuition free to students of households making under $125,000. They both noted that Wisconsin has one of the highest rates of student debt in the country and that Biden is considering policies which would cancel student debt nationwide.

At its heart, however, Sanders’s pitch to Wisconsin students and voters was less about policy platforms and more about “retaining American democracy” post-Trump. He continued with this focus on “a president who really does not believe in our constitution” and “a president who believes he is above the law.”

“This is the most important election in the modern history of this country, and in my view, it is imperative that we defeat Donald Trump because he is the most dangerous president that this country has ever had,” Sanders said.

Sanders described President Trump as a “pathological liar,” pointing to Trump’s statements about the pandemic which he said often contradict statements from public health officials and scientists.

He also stressed his concerns about voter disenfranchisement, citing Republican efforts to move up deadlines for mail-in voting and instances of voter intimidation as threats to American democracy. “They’re trying to make it harder for poor people, people of color, and young people to participate in the political process,” Sanders said.

Madeline Miner, a UW-Stevens Point student, helped instruct attendees of the rally who stayed to volunteer making calls through 2020Victory. Miner also directed attendees to use the VoteJoe app to reach out to friends, family, and community members:

“I know that sometimes it’s uncomfortable badgering your friends to tell them to come out to vote. Well, you know what, you’re going to feel a little bit more uncomfortable if Trump wins Wisconsin by a handful of votes and that’s what you wake up to on Wednesday,” Sanders said.

The Badger Herald, a student newspaper at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, wrote:

Senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders campaigned for Vice President Joe Biden at the University of Wisconsin in a virtual rally Saturday afternoon, three days before Election Day.

Congressman Mark Pocan introduced Sanders and encouraged everyone who had not yet voted to vote.

“Let me put it real simple — our hard-work for the next four days will make sure we don’t have four more years of Donald Trump,” Pocan said. “If you think about it that way, we can do anything between now and 8 p.m. on Tuesday.”

Sanders said in the 2016 election, President Donald Trump won Wisconsin by roughly 30,000 votes, in part due to low voter turnouts. Sanders said it is “imperative” that the U.S. elect Biden because of Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, his environmental policy stance and his moves to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

Sanders said this year is one of the “most important elections in modern history” for the United States.

“It’s not just about Biden versus Trump,” Sanders said. “It’s about retaining American Democracy. You might think I’m overstating that. I’m not.”

Sanders encouraged those who have already voted or have a set voting plan for Election Day to reach out to friends, family and other acquaintances to make sure they have a plan to vote.

Wisconsin is a battleground state, Sanders said, so a win for Biden here would be crucial to his campaign.

“I know sometimes it’s uncomfortable badgering your friends to come out and vote,” Sanders said. “You’re going to feel a little bit more uncomfortable if Trump wins Wisconsin by a handful of votes.”

The Daily Cardinal, another student paper at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, previewed the event:

On Saturday, Oct. 31, UW-Madison students and students within the state of Wis. will be given the opportunity to attend a virtual “Get Out the Vote” rally hosted by Sen. Bernie Sanders.

At the “What’s at Stake” GOTV rally, Sanders and student leaders will team up to converse about the stakes in this year’s presidential election. Topics will include racial justice, the economy and climate change.

Ultimately, Sanders’ rally aims to encourage students in the state of Wis. to vote. The U.S. Senator from Vermont has campaigned on behalf of Democratic nominee for president, former Vice President Joe Biden, in recent months after Biden beat out Sanders in this year’s Democratic primary.

The rally will begin at 12:00 PM CT on Saturday, Oct. 31. Details are subject to change. Members of the public can sign up for the virtual event here.

WMSN (FOX) Madison wrote:

Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke to University of Wisconsin-Madison students about the importance of the last four days leading up to the election during a virtual campaign stop for Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris in Madison on Saturday.
As a battleground state, Sanders said whichever candidate wins Wisconsin has the potential of winning the election.

“Four years ago, Donald Trump won the state of Wisconsin by less than 30,000 votes, because the turnout was not what it should have been. Let us not make this mistake again,” Sanders said.

Sanders encouraged not only UW-Madison students to vote, but also bring their friends to the polls on Tuesday.

“This is the most important election in the modern history of this county,” Sanders said. “In my view, it is imperative that we defeat Donald Trump, because he is the most dangerous president that this country has ever had.”

Sanders said the reason this is the most important election is because it’s about retaining American democracy. He said Trump does not believe in the responsibilities of government and thinks he is above the law.

Sanders said the economy, climate change, education and healthcare are also key issues in this election, all of which he thinks Biden has better policies for.

Rep. Mark Pocan joined the Biden Campaign on Zoom. He encouraged students to vote early and help with phone banking.

“All of our hard work in the next four days will make sure we don’t have four more years of Donald Trump,” Pocan said.

As Wisconsin remains a COVID-19 hotspot, Pocan said Biden will take care of the COVID-19 pandemic better than Trump has.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote:

[…] two-time presidential contender and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., urged hundreds of students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and across the state to work hard to turn out the vote for Biden and Harris on Tuesday.

“We need to turn this page on Donald Trump,” Sanders said in a virtual presentation.

Sanders said it was “imperative” to defeat Trump, calling him “the most dangerous president that this country has ever had.”

“This is a president who is a pathological liar,” Sanders said. “He lies all the time. He cannot control himself.”

Sanders said that on Friday “we had more (COVID-19) cases than ever before and Trump is on the campaign trail saying we are turning the corner on the pandemic. That is a lie.”

He touted Biden’s policies on jobs and the economy, health care and combating climate change.

And Sanders said Americans face a crucial choice.

“It’s not just Biden vs. Trump,” he said. “It is about retaining American democracy. Maybe you think I’m overstating that, but I’m not. You really have a president that does not believe in our Constitution, doesn’t believe in the separation of powers.”

Democratic U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, whose district includes Madison, also spoke to the students and made a pitch to not become complacent ahead of the election.

“We may be doing all right in the polls,” Pocan said. “But polls don’t vote. People vote.”:

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