Wisconsin Votes: Primaries and Legislative Update
Michael Wilson
mwils249@uwsp.edu
Less than 50 percent of the registered voters in the Stevens Point area went to the polls on Tuesday, when Wisconsin voted on the Republican presidential primary and several other local races took place.
 
Mitt Romney was the pronounced winner in Wisconsin, according to preliminary results.
 
According to the Stevens Point Journal, new Voted ID laws (that were not in effect yet) might have confused some voters, or discouraged others from voting entirely. The law is currently being held up by Dane County judges, who face an appeal from the state’s Department of Administration. This situation will likely lead to a legal fight in the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
 
Moreover, recent redistricting might add to this confusion, as many voters saw their polling places and representatives changed. Portage County reduced its number of districts from 29 to 25.
 
Voters require proof of residence to vote, must have lived in their current address for at least 28 days, must sign poll books at the time of voting, and others.
 
Other political updates are that a federal district court has partially struck down the anti-collective bargaining ban that led to the Capitol occupation last year. The state’s redistricting has also been partially shut down due to legal challenges of disproportionate voter disenfranchisement.
 
Governor Walker is also the subject of a secret grand jury investigation, known as a "John Doe" investigation, approved by former Milwaukee appeals court judge Neil Nettesheim. The investigation includes former staffers from Walker’s time as Milwaukee County Executive, and deals with numerous election fraud accusations, embezzlement and misconduct in office, as well as other felonies.
 
According to Mother Jones, Walker says he has "fully cooperated" with the investigation and will continue to do so until the John Doe probe has been settled.
 
Lastly, Walker signed three bills on Monday. One requires kindergarten standardized reading tests and assesses teachers based on students’ performance.
 
Another legalizes wolf hunting in Wisconsin, one year after the Wisconsin wolf was removed from the federal endangered species list; wolves can be hunted from mid-October through February.
 
The third requires high school athletes to be removed from their sport and checked by a physician if he or she is suspected of suffering from a concussion.