Opinion Matters

With Gazette Opinion Editor Greg Peck

Did you vote yet?

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Greg Peck
Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Poll workers are standing by to assist you. There are no lines! Really!

The snowy, cold weather that we all awoke to today wonít help inflate the number of voters in todayís primary election. Thatís sad.

Did you vote yet? My wife, Cheryl, was voter No. 10, and I was No. 11 at 9:30 a.m. in Janesville Ward 14 in voting at First Lutheran Church. By contrast, I was voter No. 391 at around 10 a.m. last Nov. 6 and No. 175 about the same time last April. Wards 14-18 vote at First Lutheran, and when Cheryl and I walked in today, about a dozen poll workers were awaiting us--we were the only voters in the place, though two more trickled in while we visited with a poll worker we know.

Rock County Clerk Lori Stottler projected a turnout of only 6 to 7 percent here, and thatís only because thereís a primary in the Janesville School Board race. And that pathetic prediction came before this weather system made roads treacherous and caused people to take time out to clear driveways and sidewalks before work today.

The only statewide race on todayís ballot is for state Supreme Court. Itís an important race, however. While our state high court is supposedly nonpartisan, conservatives see incumbent Pat Roggensack as crucial to maintaining a conservative majority. Liberals are hoping to oust her in favor of law professor Ed Fallone or consumer lawyer Vince Megna. Two of the three will move on to Aprilís general election in the bid for a 10-year term on the court.

Seven people are on todayís ballot for Janesville School Board. You can only vote for three, and six of them will move on to the April election. The six are incumbents Peter D. Severson, Kristin Hesselbacher and Karl Dommershausen, as well as challengers Cathy Myers, J.T. Lichtfuss, Diane Eyers and Fredrick Jackson. The three April winners will get three-year terms.

Other area primaries are for Beloit Town Board chairman and Delavan City Council District 2. You can read our advance stories on the races at gazettextra. You donít need a photo ID to vote. If youíre still unsure where or how to vote, go to myvote.wi.gov or call Stottlerís office at 608-757-5660 or the Walworth County Clerkís Office at 262-741-4241.

I voted after clearing the driveway and sidewalks. I sandwiched my civic duty around that shoveling chore and dropping off my home computer for yet another frustrating round of service. If I can accomplish all those things around my workday, canít you get to the polls, as well? I canít understand how anyone can say they support our troops, who are fighting for freedom around the globe, when we canít take just a few minutes out of our busy schedules to vote.

Polls will remain open until 8 p.m.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook

Last updated: 9:25 am Monday, April 29, 2013

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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