One political race, plain and simple -- not
City Clerk Lu Ann Hecht said she keeps getting ask if people can vote for Sheila Harsdorf in Tuesday's Democratic state recall primary.
The answer is simple. No, you can't vote for Harsdorf. She's not listed on the ballot.
She shouldn't be listed either. Harsdorf is a Republican. This is a Democratic primary.
Makes sense. But then you have to explain Isaac Weix.
The Menomonie man has run twice (and lost) in two fairly recent state Assembly elections as a Republican.
Weix got his name on the ballot late this spring as Democrat, forcing a primary against Harsdorf's recall opponent, Ellsworth teacher Shelly Moore, who is a Democrat.
Weix's candidacy apparently buys Harsdorf more time to campaign.
Harsdorf is trying to hold on to her 10th state Senate seat. A petition drive collecting more than 20,000 signatures to have her recalled has forced a special election, now set for Aug. 9.
Moore needs to win the Tuesday Democratic primary to advance to the Aug. 9 recall election.
Because of the high level of interest in the recall, Hecht says she's expected a larger-than-usual turnout for a primary. Already by last week more than 500 city residents have signed on to vote by absentee ballot.
"I've ordered enough election-day ballots (5,000) as I would for a presidential election," Hecht said.
Also noteworthy is the just-passed Wisconsin voter I.D. law. That law begins in transition with the primary.
"It's a soft implementation," Hecht said. "We will be required to ask for a photo I.D., but you can still vote without one. Next year voters will be required to show a photo I.D."
The new law also requires voters to sign their names in a polling book. That will be done in the primary.
Kinnickinnic Town Clerk Lola Higgins said Tuesday's primary, because of its unusual timing, creates a big unknown.
"In our last primary, we only had 38 voters," Higgins said. "We know we'll have more than that this time, but how many more, I just don't know."
She also said absentee ballot requests are running much higher than normal in Kinnickinnic.
By the number of poll workers and ballots, Higgins is preparing for an election-size turnout, rather than a primary, but not quite on the scale of a presidential election.
Higgins said that polling places everywhere will also make available a state-produced handout to voters that explains the new photo I.D. law.
The handout tells that free photo I.D.s can be obtained at Department of Motor Vehicle locations, including the one nearby in Hudson.
Higgins said that even though voters won't have to show a photo I.D. this time, being asked for one is a good first step: "It will make some people realize that they don't have one and maybe they better work on getting one."
Those with a driver's license already have a photo I.D. that works.
Polling places for Tuesday's primary open everywhere at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.
If you live in the city, you vote at one of four sites, depending on your address:
1) National Guard Armory, 815 W. Division St.
2) UW-River Falls University Center, 500 E. Wild Rose Ave. (accessible by using Sixth Street entrance).
3) Meyer Middle School, 230 N. Ninth St. (use the north entrance).
4) High school, 818 Cemetery Road (use entrance to the commons and the gym).
Questions on where to vote can be directed to Hecht at 715-426-3408 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Town residents vote at their town halls: Kinnickinnic, 1271 County Road J; Troy, 654 Glover Road; Pleasant Valley, 1630 30th Ave.; Clifton, W11705 County Road FF; and River Falls, Hwy. 65 and Randall Road.