It is that time again, that good old once-every-four-year opportunity for a nation of people to find commonality in exercising our right to decide, our right to choose, our right to vote!
Not only are we voting for the presidential election this November, but we are also voting locally. The local election will include U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative (Congress District 4), State Assembly Member (Assembly District 14), Milwaukee County District Attorney, Milwaukee County Clerk, Milwaukee County Treasurer and Milwaukee County Register of Deeds.
Julie Tatlock, instructor in the history department, said that when she talks to her students about American democracy, she likes to use the story of Ben Franklin.
“When the Constitutional Convention came to a close in 1787, an event that revealed already strong divisions among people, Ben Franklin was asked what kind of government the representatives had decided upon and he said, ‘A Republic, if you can keep it,’” Tatlock said. “Politics in America has always been divisive.”
She explained that there is nothing wrong with people having and holding strong beliefs, but they must be knowledgeable about the issues as well as the possible solutions.
“If our Republic is to survive, however, we must be able to compromise,” Tatlock said. “We must do the hard work of finding common ground with those who hold beliefs anathema to our own. We must resist the idea that we can disengage because it is too difficult or too messy. Democracy requires educated participation on a massive scale. Voting is how we fix the system. Voting is how we hold those in office accountable both for what they say and what they do. And voting is required even when the choice is difficult to fathom. Freedom is not without responsibility.”
Tatlock also encouraged involvement in the election process.
“So, make a choice, vote,” Tatlock said. “Think about volunteering for campaigns and running for office someday. Participation is how we keep our Republic both now and for future generations.”
Wisconsin Voting Requirements
- Live at a Wisconsin address by Oct 29, 2016
- Be registered to vote in Wisconsin or register to vote at the polls on Election Day. https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/UpdateMyNameorAddress if you’re registered to vote.
- Be a US citizen
- Be 18 by Election Day, Nov 8
- Cannot be in prison, on parole, or on probation for a conviction of a felony, treason, or bribery
- Cannot currently be judged mentally incompetent by a court or subject to guardianship
- Cannot be involved or not become involved—either directly or indirectly—in a bet or wager relating to the result of the election.
Where To Vote
The location in which you are designated to vote can be found on https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/. If you are not registered to vote, you can register in person at the polls until 8 p.m. When registering at the polls, be sure to bring a valid Wisconsin ID and proof of address.
Who’s On The Ballot
To find out who is on the ballot, you can go to https://myvote.wi.gov/en-US/PreviewMyBallot and enter in your address and preview a sample ballot for the election taking place in your area.
When I entered in the address for Mount Mary University, this is the sample ballot that came up:
President Of The United States
Donald J. Trump/Michael R. Pence (Republican)
Hillary Clinton/Tim Kaine (Democratic)
Darrell L. Castle/Scott N. Bradley (Constitution)
Gary Johnson/Bill Weld (Libertarian)
Jill Stein/Ajamu Baraka (Wisconsin Green)
Monica Moorehead/Lamont Lilly (Workers World Party)
Rocky Roque De La Fuente/Michael Steinberg (American Delta Party)
United States Senator
Ron Johnson (Republican)
Russ Feingold (Democratic)
Phillip N. Anderson (Libertarian)
Representative In Congress District 4
Gwen S. Moore (Democratic)
Andy Craig (Libertarian)
Robert R. Raymond (Independent)
Representative To The Assembly District 14
Dale Kooyenga (Republican)
Chris Rockwood (Democratic)
Milwaukee County District Attorney
John T. Chisholm (Democratic)
Milwaukee County Clerk
George Christenson (Democratic)
Milwaukee County Treasurer
David Cullen (Democratic)
Milwaukee County Register Of Deeds
John La Fave (Democratic)
As a student, it is very easy to become wrapped up in assignments and day to day tasks, at times we might skim the candidates and vote for the majority or not understand how our vote might directly impact us by voting for a particular candidate.
You can also go to http://elections.wi.gov/elections-voting/elections where you can find directories with the following information: candidates on the ballot (entire state and presidential ticket), 2016 general election combined candidate contact information, polling place locations, 2016 presidential electors slates, certificate of nomination (presidential candidate), notifications of non-candidacy, offices to be elected, certification of independent candidates for general election and registered write-in candidates.
If you need a ride to the polls to place your vote, Mount Mary will be giving free rides every 15 minutes, all day to and from our local poll place.
Whether you are undecided, still researching or confident in your selection of candidates in which you choose to support. Please be sure to make it to the polls and vote! Happy Voting!