It’s the Day of the Badger, and there's no better way to make Bucky proud than by voting in today's spring election.
Madisonians will decide who represents them in local judiciary offices, the school board and the Dane County Board of Supervisors.
Because of redistricting measures passed last November, the entire Dane County Board of Supervisors is up for election. The 37-member Board, which oversees the creation of legislation and policy in the county, will undergo a significant shakeup with over eleven supervisors not seeking reelection.
One of those not seeking another term is District 5 Supervisor Elena Haasl, a University of Wisconsin-Madison senior whose district comprises a majority of the UW-Madison campus and is predominantly populated by students. Looking to replace her is Jeff Hynes, a UW-Madison senior who is running unopposed.
“This position is going to allow me to see how the budget in Madison, or, I guess, in Dane County is allocated and how I can help sort of tailor to the interests of students because that is a big part of my district. But I do want to also tailor it to everyone [in district 5],” Hynes said.
Hynes' primary policy platforms that he discussed were improving public safety, ensuring affordable housing and providing housing for the homeless as well as strengthening the environment in his district.
Hynes supports the controversial project by the County Board to construct new jail facilities in part because it would create better jail conditions for inmates and would incorporate mental health into treatment plans.
Hynes noted one of his strengths was that he liked to talk to people and promised to be very open to talking things through with the people he represents.
“I think a big thing for me is to reach out to me if you have anything, questions, concerns,” Hynes said. “If you want to debate something, I'd love to talk to you about it, and [I would] love to get to know everyone in my district, which is a lot of people, but I'd be willing to talk to every single one of them because they're the people that I'm representing. If they think something's not good or they have a concern, just bring it to me and I will talk through it with you.”
There are three school board seats up for election today, including the school board president, Ali Muldrow, who is running against write-in candidate David Blaska for a second three-year term. Nichelle Nichols, a former district administrator, is also running unopposed The last seat, seat 3, is between Laura Simkin and Shepherd Janeway, who will appear on the ballot as Shepherd Joyner.
Five Circuit Court Judges and One Court of Appeals Judge are on the ballot today in nonpartisan elections. They represent Dane County and serve six year terms.
The full list of everyone appearing on the ballot can be found here, and if you’d like a more comprehensive run-through of the candidates you can check out interviews from the Wisconsin State Journal.
The polls open today at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m., but as long as you’re in line by 8 p.m. you’ll still get to vote. Due to redistricting, your polling location may not be the same as it was during the last election, so check the city’s website to find out where you’ll vote.
If you aren’t registered to vote yet, there’s no need to panic. You can register to vote at your polling location provided you have proof of residence. When you go to vote, make sure you have your correct ID; student IDs are not valid. You can use your driver's license, U.S. passport, or a free campus-issued voter ID card, which you can get here.