U. Wisconsin Lets International Students Vote In Mock Election

This story was written by Callie Rathburn, The Daily Cardinal

International students voted at the University of Wisconsinin a mock election that closely replicated the city of Madisons official polling centers and ballots hosted by International Student Services at the Red Gym Tuesday.

We wanted to give international students the opportunity to get to know a little more about the U.S. political system, to have an opportunity to express their voice [and] to cast a vote, said Marilee Sushoreba, student services' senior coordinator.

International students expressed excitement to be involved and 160 filled out ballots in the mock election. Its a moment of history in the making and I want to be a part of it, said Alia Jamaluddin, an exchange student from Malaysia.

Jamaluddin said it is hard to feel the excitement on campus about the candidates and the election while being unable to vote. The election itself, it looks like America is bringing new change and a new hope with the war and the economy crisis, Jamaluddin said.

Many international students said family and friends in their home countries were eager to see the result of the 2008 presidential election.

I think these particular elections affect the world, and as such I understand that people around the globe are riveted to their televisions just as we are and hold them out there as critical and crucial as we do, Sushoreba said.

After the voting process, students had an election monitoring party to wait for results from the mock election and the real election.

Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama won the mock election by a landslide only hours before he was officially elected the next president of the United States.

Student servicesinvited domestic students to attend the monitoring party as well. They were able to share with international students how the election process worked.

This is the second time the university held a mock presidential election for international students. The first was four years ago in the 2004 election. They plan on continuing the event in future elections.

Domestic students want to hear the voice of international students, Sushoreba said.