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Editorial: Just when you thought it was safe, another election arrives

It's been only two months since the last election -- the governor's June 5 recall won by incumbent Scott Walker over Tom Barrett.

Now, in the dog days of summer, another election looms. This one used to be called the fall primary -- held the second Tuesday in September -- preceding the November general election.

The fall primary name no longer applies. State lawmakers moved up the primary to the second Tuesday in August to comply with a federal law giving military and overseas voters more time to have their absentee ballots counted.

While well-intentioned, summer voting is hardly when most people pay attention to political campaigning. That's probably even more true in this part of the state. Most of us, regrettably, know more about the Minnesota politicians than we do Wisconsin's.

Be that as it may, Tuesday, Aug. 14, is the Wisconsin primary. There are very few contested races.

One that is hotly contested with multiple candidates affects the entire state. It's the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. Candidates are: Tommy Thompson, Mark Neumann, Jeff Fitzgerald and Eric Hovde.

Neumann, who stopped off in River Falls Friday, is featured in a Journal story this week. U.S. Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin is running unopposed for the Democratic Party.

In Pierce County, longtime district attorney John O'Boyle is being challenged by former River Falls police officer Sean Froelich in a Democratic primary. There are no Republican candidates, so the primary winner should win the November general election. (By the way, the Journal has editorialized before about the absurdity of requiring party affiliations for county office seekers, like district attorney.)

Those who live in the city of River Falls vote at one of the four polling sites: National Guard Armory, corner of West Division and Grove streets, for District 1 residents; City Hall, lower level, for Dist. 2; Meyer Middle School, north entrance, for Dist. 3; and high school, main entrance, for Dist. 4.

Town residents vote at their town halls: Troy, 654 Glover Road; Kinnickinnic, 1271 County Road J; Pleasant Valley, 1630 30th Ave.; River Falls, Randall Road and Hwy. 65; Clifton, County Road FF near the intersection with County Road QQ; Martell, W5581 Hwy. 63.

As required now by state law, all voting sites open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

So, ready or not, get ready again to cast your ballots.

Online Poll: Primary, ready or not

The Journal's online poll question asked: Are you prepared to vote in the Aug.14 primary election?

Early responders have said: YES, 58.8%; NO, 29.4%; MAYBE, 11.8%. Go vote on this question by going to