DotW {x + 13}; Election Season Special

One reason the timing of this pandemic is so poorly timed (and really, did it even consider asking us?) is that it’s cropped up during a major election season here in America. In particular, it has thrown an already-wild Spring Election into a further state of wildness. Absentee ballots are the hot thing now. I’ve already voted absentee, and some people I spoke with tonight while making calls for my good friend Milwaukee Alderman Scott Spiker have received their ballots as well. (Scott and I are both up for reelection, and on the second side of the ballot, for those keeping track at home.)

Things got a little more interesting in election land with announcements from several county clerks in Wisconsin counties about registering to vote “indefinitely confined,” which would actually make it much easier for people who have difficulty uploading a photograph of their ID. Think older voters. Perhaps some disabled voters.

This comes as people are requesting absentee ballots in what are probably record numbers; that’s my surmise, based on the number of news stories I’ve seen about it.

One interesting quirk of the law: I cannot sign my wife’s ballot as a witness, as I am on her ballot. Nor may I witness anyone else in my district, as I am on their ballot. Anyone in county districts 1-13 or 15-18, we’re good. But not in the Fighting Fourteenth.

I’m getting a lot of requests from a lot of campaigns to send texts and make calls. I really enjoy making calls to voters. I love campaigning and retail politicking. I can do it well enough on the street, or in these times of physical separation, by telephone and text message. It’s not the same. My “weaponized smile” needs to be felt through the ether, rather than seen in person. And I tell you, that’s a lot harder to convey by text message.

From where we sit tonight, the April 7 election will still be on, although there are suggestions, even requests, perhaps lawsuits, asking about what happens if we push back the vote tabulation. Does that extend the terms of currently elected and future elected officials? Does my current term, which will unhorse on April 20, get pushed back to early June? Is that even possible, legally? While such answers are way above my pay grade, I’m keen on finding out. Moreover, I want a smooth transition to our next governments, be they local, city and county, state, or federal. That’s how America has thrived since its inception. I think we will make it through this coronavirus emergency. And I think our republic is strong enough that it too will come through. Let’s vote our consciousness, eject the mango Mussolini, wash our hands, and get through this.

Published by Jason Haas

I am a resident of the Bay View neighborhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors. That sometimes comes up on here, as it's kind of a small part of my life. No official county business happens here. I'm mostly using this now to give a rough draft account of how we're dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. God help us all.

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