Remember last June 5, when Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett squared off with Gov. Scott Walker in one of Wisconsin's most historic elections? Turnout was extremely high across the state in the special recall balloting.
Tuesday's scheduled primary election in Wisconsin won't be nearly as dramatic - or historic - but it is important nonetheless. Turnout for primaries is generally less than one-quarter of the voting populace, and this election likely will be no different. We urge you to be among those in the minority that go to the polls.
Manitowoc County will narrow its choice of candidates for Circuit Court judge by half on Tuesday. Four able candidates are on the ballot, including:
? Manitowoc County District Attorney Mark Rohrer;
? Assistant District Attorney Bob Dewane;
? Private practice attorney Steven Weber; and
? Manitowoc Municipal Judge Steve Olson.
The two top vote-getters will move on to the April 2 general election.
What judges do is important. They can, with their decisions, influence the social fabric of a community and protect it from those who don't value the laws that govern us. Each of the candidates brings potential strengths and weaknesses to the position.
You may be tempted to wait until the general election to make a decision on which of the candidates can best achieve those ends. That would be a mistake. If your choice doesn't make it past Tuesday, that is a moot point and the opportunity to vote him into office is lost.
Several other races on Tuesday will garner pockets of attention, including a three-candidate battle for the District 1 seat on the Manitowoc City Council, three people vying to become finalists for Kiel mayor, a three-way battle for Valders village president and another three-way tussle for town of Kossuth assessor.
Also, a statewide Supreme Court race pits incumbent Pat Roggensack against challengers Vince Megna and Ed Fallone.
Manitowoc County Executive Bob Ziegelbauer makes a good point when he says that individual votes have more impact in low-turnout elections. In other words, each vote counts for a little more when the total vote pool is smaller. That, in itself, is a good reason to vote on Tuesday.
Another is that civic duty impels us to do so. Voting freely is one of those rights that millions in the world would beg to have. We, on the other hand, are tempted to take it for granted, particularly when an election does not garner a lot of media or public attention.
Please resist that temptation and vote on Tuesday.