Discover more from The Recombobulation Area
Today, the people get to decide. Let's vote, Wisconsin!
We're here. We made it. Today is the day. Let's go make a change.
The Recombobulation Area is a
six-time TEN-TIME Milwaukee Press Club award-winningweekly opinion column and online publication written and published by veteran Milwaukee journalist Dan Shafer. Learn more about it here.
Campaigns can be brutal, but today we get to the best part. Today, the people get to decide.
Election Day has arrived in Wisconsin. People are casting their ballots right now all across the state.
We know there’s a lot riding on this election. We know that turnout is everything. We know the very future of our state will be decided today. Yes, we know it’s a lot.
If you’ve been following our coverage here at The Recombobulation Area lately, you know we’ve been advocating for early voting. So if you voted already, that’s great! Good job. You can spend the day helping others get to the polls or spreading the word about the election.
If you’re an Election Day voter, that’s great too! There is a certain magic about voting on Election Day.
There’s also a few things you should know. First, the polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. That’s an easy one.
Here are a few more:
Wisconsin is one of just 22 states that has same-day voter registration (which is a great, pro-voting policy!). So that means if you moved or if you need to re-register for whatever reason, you can do that at the polls today.
To register, you need proof of residence and a valid ID. The Wisconsin Elections Commission has a breakdown online of all the rules there.
That valid ID could include a Wisconsin Driver License or State ID card, or “any other official identification card or license issued by a Wisconsin governmental body or unit.”
Proof of residence documents “must include the voter’s name and current residential address.” This can include your most recent utility bill (or a cable or internet bill), a real estate tax bill or receipt, a residential lease, or a bank or credit union statement.
It’s always a good idea to preview what’s on your ballot before you head to the polls. The Wisconsin Supreme Court race will be on ballots statewide, but there’s a lot happening in each community in Wisconsin. Be prepared. Go here to see what’s on your ballot.
Need to find your polling place? Go here.
And a reminder that you cannot vote by drop box in this election for Wisconsin Supreme Court because of a 2022 ruling by the conservative majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
If you live in Milwaukee, Souls to the Polls is offering free rides to the polls, just call 414-742-1060.
Politics in Wisconsin are broken. We need change.
We can start changing this state today by voting for Janet Protasiewicz and flipping the balance of power on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Keeping a conservative majority will only bring more of the same broken politics.
When politics are broken — as they so clearly are in Wisconsin — the foundational elements need to change. The conservative majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court has helped maintain this broken system. We need change at the foundation.
Vote for Janet.
Tonight, The Recombobulation Area will be providing live coverage, here in our Election Night Live Blog, and of course over on Twitter on my personal account at @DanRShafer.
We will also be going LIVE on Instagram with our friend Kristin Brey of As Goes Wisconsin at 9 p.m. where we’ll recombobulate and react to the results.
But before we get there, we want to remind you of all of our recent coverage of this election, because there’s been a lot.
We’ll start by going back to last year. In May, I wrote a column about how over the next 12 months, we have an opportunity to restore democracy in Wisconsin. Step one was re-electing Tony Evers. Done and done. Step two is flipping the balance of power on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. We can do that today.
Recently, there’s a whole lot we’ve been covering. The biggest story we published was our special report on gerrymandering and the race for Wisconsin Supreme Court. Read that here.
...or see it as a Twitter Thread (shared by Julia Louis-Dreyfus!).
That special report was also shared byin her newsletter yesterday. You can read that terrific piece here.
Over the past week, we’ve published three guest columns.
The first was from Kyle Johnson of Black Leaders Organizing for Communities (BLOC). He wrote about why you should vote “no” on two binding referendum questions on cash bail, that “if passed, have frightening legal implications.” These would amend the state constitution.
We also published a guest column from Carlene Bechen of the Wisconsin Fair Maps Coalition, looking back at and celebrating the organizing that’s gone into the push to end gerrymandering in Wisconsin — now a top issue in the race for state Supreme Court.
And with the abortion rights issue paramount in this election, Sarah Godlewski wrote a piece about the 1849 abortion ban, the “Rally for our Rights” tour that she’s been speaking at all over the state, and the stories women are sharing with her. Read that here.
For me, I’ve written several columns on this race, in addition to the special report on gerrymandering.
Last week, I wrote about turnout. Turnout in a Spring Election like this one (with no presidential primary also on the ballot) is typically low. And while this year’s race projects to have a higher-than-usual turnout, that still might mean it’s lower than 40%. There are a whole lot of people who vote in the fall who might not be voting now.
And yes, MARK RUFFALO shared this with his 8.3 million followers yesterday.
A few more things I’ve written or podcasted or social media-ed lately in advance of the election:
I talked to Marquette pollster Charles Franklin about the race (LISTEN)
I talked to Jodi Habush Sinykin, the Democratic candidate running to flip the 8th Senate District (LISTEN)
I wrote about the race for 8th Senate District. The piece was published before the primary, but is certainly still relevant now. Republican Dan Knodl is the candidate there (at Milwaukee Record)
I hosted a Q&A over at Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Twitter and Instagram pages. Scroll through all of our answers in the posts embedded there.
We worked with Bradley Whitford to help get out the vote for Protasiewicz over on our Instagram (WATCH)
We covered the visit from former attorney general Eric Holder, at a get-out-the-vote event on Milwaukee’s northwest side. He talked about how Wisconsin is “probably the most gerrymandered state in the country.” See more of his remarks here:
Yep, we’ve been busy.
And we must remind you that The Recombobulation Area is a reader-funded publication. We are supported by subscriptions. So, if you’ve appreciated our coverage over these last few months, please consider paying for one of those subscriptions. You can get started for just $5 per month, or support a full year of our independent journalism for just $50.
Already subscribe? Consider giving someone a gift subscription.
Interested in a group subscription for a 30% discount? That’s an option, too.
Any other questions about subscriptions? Shoot us an email at email@example.com. We’ll be more than happy to help.
OK, Wisconsin. Let’s do this. See you on the other side.
VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!
Dan Shafer is a journalist from Milwaukee who writes and publishes The Recombobulation Area. He previously worked at Seattle Magazine, Seattle Business Magazine, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine, and BizTimes Milwaukee. He’s also written for The New York Times, The Daily Beast, Heartland Signal, Belt Magazine, WisPolitics, and Milwaukee Record. He’s won 17 Milwaukee Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards. He’s on Twitter at @DanRShafer.
Already subscribe? Get a gift subscription for a friend!
Follow Dan Shafer on Twitter at @DanRShafer.