Have you ever met someone who constantly drones on and on about how they refuse to vote, man? “Wow,” you think, right after thinking, “Please be quiet.” “In the time it’s taking this genius to explain why they don’t vote, they could have, you know, voted.”
Yeah, those people suck, and with today’s spring primary election currently taking Milwaukee by storm (just us?), it’s a perfect time not to be one of those people. Sure, today’s election doesn’t have the flash and incessant social media badgering inherent in a presidential election, but it’s a day when your hyper-local vote counts more than ever. Here are six things to keep in mind about this thrilling exercise in democracy.
1. The new bullshit voter ID law is in effect
Because the powers-that-be have decided the best way to honor our country’s democratic process is to make sure certain people have a difficult time participating in it, you now need an acceptable form of photo ID to vote in Wisconsin elections. What’s an acceptable form of photo ID, you ask? 88Nine Radio Milwaukee has a handy list, which includes:
• A Wisconsin DOT-issued driver license, even if driving privileges are revoked or suspended
• A Wisconsin DOT-issued identification card
• A Wisconsin DOT-issued identification card or driver license without a photo issued under the religious exemption
• Military ID card issued by a U.S. uniformed service
• A U.S. passport
• An identification card issued by a federally recognized Indian tribe in Wisconsin (May be used even if expired before the most recent general election.)
All of the above items can be unexpired, or expired after Nov. 4, 2014. There is also a list of acceptable items that must be unexpired.
2. Milwaukee County Transit System is helping voters who are fucked by the new bullshit voter ID law
Proving it’s more than just an easy way to get around and experience the city in all its odors, Milwaukee County Transit System is doling out free MCTS bus passes to community groups currently involved in voter registration and ID procurement (MICAH, the ACLU, and the League of Women Voters, etc.) It may not seem like much, but if the program helps just one person navigate Wisconsin’s new bullshit voter ID law, it’s a success.
3. There’s a dude from the Wisconsin Pirate Party running for Milwaukee county executive
In a month that has seen the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster take on the Wisconsin DMV, it should come as no surprise that a member of the Wisconsin Pirate Party is running for Milwaukee county executive. The party’s name may conjure up images of Pirates Of The Caribbean Pt. 14: Is Orlando Bloom Back For This One Or Not?, but its political stances are downright sensible. According to Urban Milwaukee, Pirate candidate Joseph Klein and his party advocate for “a transparent government, protection from invasion of privacy by the government, and as direct a democracy as possible.” Klein, who ran for county exec back in 2004, will be walking the plank alongside incumbent Chris Abele, Democratic state Sen. Chris Larson, and Steve Hogan.
4. Three people are running against Mayor Tom Barrett, apparently
Are you sick and tired of all the television, radio, and online spots about the race for Milwaukee’s next mayor? Neither are we, because, for the life of us, we can’t seem to find any. Other than some “Bob Donovan for mayor” lawn signs and a few “Joe Davis for mayor” billboards, the race to usurp Mayor Tom Barrett has been a quiet one. According to the Journal Sentinel, Barrett has $810,000 in campaign funds, while his two main opponents, Donovan and Davis, have $28,000 and $16,000, respectively. And then there’s James Methu, who, well, looks like a nice guy and has a nice website. Just remember: as with all primary races, the top two vote-getters for mayor will advance to the April 5 spring election.
5. No one is expected to vote in this thing, which means you should totally vote in this thing
The State Government Accountability Board is predicting that only 10 percent of all eligible Wisconsin voters will bother casting a ballot in today’s election. That’s a measly 450,000 people out of the state’s 4.4 million. That means your vote, you know, actually matters. So instead of shitting your pants in vain over Bernie or Hillary or Donald, shit your pants over your local alderperson race, or the state Supreme Court race (the only statewide primary on today’s ballot).
6. Here’s where to vote
Polling places for today’s election will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Need to register to vote? Need to know where to vote? Need to know what your ballot will look like? My Vote Wisconsin has all the info you’ll ever need. Happy voting, Milwaukee!