At Marquette University, a university-led voter registration drive used a laptop that favored a candidate running for office. While the university should encourage and support voter registration, even subtle bias is strictly forbidden — which includes political stickers.

The laptop being used by the student on the voter registration table had political stickers on the back of the computer. One of the stickers read “Bernie 2016” while the other read “Russ Feingold”.

Russ Feingold is currently running for Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate seat in 2016.



Because the voter registration effort was led by the university, the student’s laptop being used can be defined as political advocacy.

Explicitly the IRS states:

Voter education or registration activities conducted in a biased manner that favors (or opposes) one or more candidates is prohibited.

In an email obtained by Hypeline, a concerned student contacted Marquette’s Office of Student Development about the breach of IRS policy (Student’s name has been removed to protect their privacy).


In response to the student’s concern about the illegal activity, the Office of Student Development responded by stating they would “address the concern”. Marquette did not provide any further information about how the issue would be resolved.


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