We are just a week away from heading to the polls again here in Wisconsin. Oh, you weren't aware of the Fall Primary on August 9th? Don't feel bad--most of your fellow Wisconsinites weren't either. And that's unfortunate, because there are some pretty big races on the ballot. You've got Democratic primaries in the 6th and 8th Congressional Districts. A Republican primary in the 8th. Republican and Democratic primaries in the 18th State Senate District race. And an outrageous four-way GOP primary for Winnebago County Register of Deeds--a position that should be appointed at best and eliminated at worst (but that's a subject of another My Two Cents somewhere down the road).
Unfortunately, people are giving very little thought to politics and elections in early August. Instead, they are thinking about last-minute summer road trips, back-to-school shopping, getting college kids ready to head back to campus, spending time at the cottage and golf. They aren't thinking about where Congressional candidates stand on the issues or what makes a "good Republican" Register of Deeds.
This primary used to be held in September--when people are less distracted by the trappings of summer--and lives fall into a more mundane routine. It would be like Labor Day Weekend passed and folks would get 'serious" about things again--including politics. But the push to have more people "vote early" necessitated moving the primary into early August so that general election ballots would be printed and available for absentee voting in October.
It's ironic that an effort to "get more people to vote" actually ends up reducing turnout for at least one election--as clerks are expecting just 20-percent turnout next Tuesday. And again, there are some very important races on the ballot here (and the Register of Deeds race, too). I guess we should be encouraged that turnout would be better than the February primary for non-partisan local races where poll workers take turns sleeping and waking each other up when people actually come through the doors. That's why school districts like holding referenda on those dates.
So try to make it to the polls next Tuesday, if you're not too busy at the beach, or the pool, or the ball diamond, or at the lake, or on the course, or in the Dells.........