Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Election Day Homework Time!

It's time to do your election day homework. Don't worry, it's not hard.

All you have to do is go to your local city or town website and download your sample ballot for the election on November 6th. Most cities have a link to it prominently featured somewhere. And if your city doesn't, it will have a search feature where you can look up anything in the entire website. Just search for "ballot" and you'll find what you're looking for.

And what you'll find is very, very interesting.

You see, since January of 2012, the congressional borders have shifted in the greater Milwaukee area. And I'll bet you had no idea!

For example, I was looking forward to casting my ballot against Paul Ryan in favor of his congressional challenger, Rob Zerban. Who knows? Ryan may lose both the VP bid and his congressional seat at the same time. But no! I live in Greenfield, and that means that my city is no longer part of congressional district #1, which is basically all of SE Wisconsin south of Milwaukee (Racine, Kenosha, Beloit). It is now part of congressional district #5, which includes New Berlin, Waukesha, Pewaukee and West Bend. This means I have to pick between Jim Sensenbrenner, and some unknown democrat named Dave Heaster, an architect who I'll bet you never heard of. You know, when I did an internet news search for Dave Heaster, I found exactly nothing? Yep, no Journal Sentinel article, no Wisconsin news article. Only one little blurb in the Sussex Sun said anything about him at all, and that was just a five question interview. Hard to win when nobody knows who you are, and your opponent is entrenched in the biggest Republican stronghold in the state. On the other hand, Sensenbrenner was the asshole who dared to suggest that Michelle Obama has a "big butt," when his own fat ass weighs in at no less than 300 pounds! I'm going to enjoy voting against him!

But by no means is this the only switcharoo you might find at the polls. Do you live in Mequon or Cedarburg? If so, you might be expecting to vote for Sensenbrenner again. But no! You'll be voting as part of congressional district #6 now, where you have to decide, likely at the last minute, between Democrat Joe Kallas, and Republican Tom Petri, the 25th richest member of congress (and that's some pretty wealthy company). This is a district which formally only covered the territory of Sheboygan and Fond Du Lac, so your new representative will simply be clueless as to the unique challenges a Milwaukee suburb faces. Makes sense, doesn't it?

Do you live in Glendale, Whitefish Bay, Shorewood or Fox Point? Then you'll likely be expecting to vote in Jim Sensenbrenner's district as well. You might have had a shot at dislodging him too, right? Nope. Now you're voting as part of congressional district #4, which is basically the entire city of Milwaukee. That means you'll only be able to help re-elect congresswoman Gwen Moore, who is running against some schmuck named Dan Sebring. So much for your UWM-area liberal vote getting to make a difference in congress.

Now, here's where it gets really, really disgusting. If you go to your congressperson's web page and download the map of what his or her district looks like, you'll likely find that the district maps have not yet been updated!

For fuck's sake! These changes were put in place back in January! You've had all year! And now, less than three weeks before the election, I have to write your sorry, lazy asses and get you to update what you should have updated months ago? How can THIS BLOG be more up to date than the official government websites? Christ, do you people even have web design specialists on staff, or did Walker cut those from your budget?!

Well, I'm asking everybody to get on the horn regarding this. Take a look at your community's sample ballot. And if your U.S. congressional district has shifted, and the map hasn't been updated on the website, GET PISSED!

Don't let them think we're not paying attention (even though we probably aren't).



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