Monday, May 17, 2010


There are a couple of things I find unbelievable today.

The first you might have missed last week. The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board--which oversees elections in the state--voted to ban voluntary showing of identification at the polls. That's right, it is now illegal in Wisconsin to prove that you are who say you are before you cast a ballot.

The GAB defends its ruling by saying that someone showing their ID to the poll workers on election day would serve to "confuse, intimidate or offend" someone who does not wish to show their ID. I'm not sure how someone can be "offended" by the simple act of making sure that my vote is actually be cast by me--not someone claiming to be me (or a person who doesn't even exist in our district) because he would not be required to show identification. I guess I owe an apology to the people I "offended" at the polls the last two years by showing my drivers license when requesting my ballot. I didn't see anyone running for the doors in a huff after I did that. Maybe the "offended" parties hadn't show up yet--or couldn't stand the thought of leaving their house out of fear I might question their intentions because they weren't showing proof of identity.

I'm glad the Non-Accountability Board is making sure that those who wish to defraud the election system have every opportunity to do so. I just hope the "election police" are on-hand in November to "confuse, intimidate and offend" those of us who actually do want to guarantee clean elections.

Also amazing me this morning is the reluctance of the Oshkosh School Board to sign on to the "Race to the Top" Program. This proposal from President Obama could provide more than one-million dollars in extra federal funding for the cash-strapped Oshkosh School District next year. There are apparently some problems for members of the School Board however--like more reporting of standardized test scores--and tying student performance to teacher compensation.

More than a few Boardmembers are apparently uncomfortable with testing to see if kids in the district are actually learning what they are supposed to be learning in the classroom. You know, accountability is a dirty word nowadays. And to make teachers accountable for the performance of their students is unacceptable as well. Did I mention that President Obama is the one who proposed all of this?

One would think that a district that is desperate for every single dollar it can get in its current budget crisis would immediately jump on any opportunity to bring in an extra million dollars a year. They certainly don't pass up chances to grab more state taxpayer money by instituting four year old kindergarten or designating more schools for the SAGE program. It's not like the White House is placing outrageous requirements on the district to get the money--like teaching the history of unions (a new requirement put in place by the State Legislature).

Passing on this "Race to the Top" funding would show once and for all that it is NOT "all about the kids" in the Oshkosh School District. Made we should exert a little accountability the next time the School Board puts up a referendum--or go up for re-election.


  1. Anyone know what the penalty is for someone showing ID at the polls? Just the idea that it's illegal makes me want to slap my driver's license on the table when I go to vote. Like I did the first time I voted and was shocked that I didn't need it.

  2. Don't know the penalty but I'll find out when I show my ID next time I vote.