Local races are important factors on Election Day
Tuesday, April 5, is Election Day in Wisconsin. The presidential primary and the Wisconsin Supreme Court justice election are capturing headlines nationally and statewide, but the most important issue in Stevens Point and the rest of Portage County is the local elections.
Voters will pick a Circuit Court judge, their representatives on school boards, the Portage County Board of Supervisors, the Stevens Point Common Council, village boards and some town boards.
Although the powers of those local boards and councils have been usurped and negated by the Wisconsin Legislature in recent years, the candidates elected still run the most local form of government, the closest to the people. This is where each vote has more impact on the election.
Those who neglected to vote in the February primary will find they need a personal identification card to vote, such as a Wisconsin driver’s license or Department of Transportation-issued identification card, a military ID card, a U.S. passport, an Indian tribe ID card and, new for this election, a veteran’s photo identification card issued by the Veterans Health Administration of the federal Department of Veterans Affairs.
Pertinent to the Portage County area is a photo identification card issued by a Wisconsin-accredited university, college or technical college that contains the date of issuance, signature of student and an expiration date no later than two years after date of issuance. The university, college or technical college ID must also be accompanied by a separate document that proves enrollment.
Other forms of acceptable identification are listed at the website bringit.wisconsin.gov. The ID law went into effect in February.
Those registering to vote because they are voting for the first time, have moved since last voting or have not voted for many years also need to bring an official document to prove address, such as a lease, bank statement or telephone bill.
The presidential primary is the hallmark issue on the ballot and will bring out voters, many of whom will ignore local elections. That primary has taken on more mud-slinging and salacious comments than seen or heard in recent decades.
Don’t look for the Portage County Gazette to endorse any candidates. The paper has a longstanding tradition of refusing to endorse any candidate, leaving that to the voter to decide. In an election year like this, how could we do otherwise?
– Gene Kemmeter