Welcome to Your Election Preview: Voter ID, Where To Vote, Candidate Info
Village, school board, county and national races make for a full ballot on Tuesday; be informed before you head out and cast your ballot.
What's Going On At The Polls
Polling places around Caledonia saw a steady stream of voters throughout the day. People of all ages took the opportunity to vote Tuesday. Poll workers reported similar turnout to past elections and no incidents had occurred as far as people attempting to negatively influence the voting process in any way.
Here's what we've learned so far.
April 3 - 5 p.m.: Amanda Melany, a polling place worker at St. Andrew Lutheran Church, said people make their way to the voting booths during all different times depending on their schedule.
“We see a big wave of folks come in before work or on their lunch break,” Melany said. “But that 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. window is definitely the busiest. I think people like to come by at the end of their day, vote, and then go home and relax.”
Melany said that by noon the St. Andrew Church voting location had already seen over 300 people cast their ballots.
April 3 - 12:30 p.m.: At Grace Church voting, there was a short line forming at the door of people waiting to vote after getting out of work.
Sam Braun, 21, had come back from his morning college classes to vote for the first time in his life.
“I’m excited for the first chance of my life to vote,” Braun said. “ A lot of people my age don’t think it’s important. But I want to have my voice heard and send a message that this country needs to change quickly.”
Braun said tuition costs and the U.S. Energy policy were two large reasons he voted the way he did.
Loraine Bell, 78, also stood in line waiting for her chance to influence the election outcomes.
“I’ve always loved watching politics at the top level all the way down to our local officials,” Bell said.
April 3 - 9:30 a.m.: The East Side Community Center polling site had about 148 people. Ed, the chief polling inspector there, said it was hard to gauge the turnout there because their polling place had been split in half with the redistricting. They had 5,000 registered voters, but the site now handles 2,500.
Voters, Steve and Mary Sorsek, said they vote in pretty much every election. The key factors in making their decision on whom to vote for in the presidential primary included: honesty, stance on the economy, and health care.
"I don't want socialized medicine," Mary said. "I've worked hard to have the health care we have and it may be expensive, but it's the best and I want to be able to choose my health care like I choose my vitamins."
April 3 - 9 a.m.: Prince of Peace polling site had about 87 voters, said Liz Kocjan, the chief polling inspector. This is about double the number they had in February when turnout was about 7 percent.
Unless you've been abroad (for example, interplanetary travel), you know that it will be time to head to the polls on Tuesday. We've listed information about the candidates in all contested races on our Election Central page.
Here's what you need to know:
The polls for all districts open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.
Here are the links to the sample ballots in each ward:
There is one contested race in Caledonia:
While there are three seats up for grabs, only one is a contested race. Village Board member, Tom Weatherston, is seeking re-election, but he is running unopposed. Kathleen Trentadue is seeking a seat on the Village Board after Jerry Griswold decided not to run for re-election. Trentadue is running unopposed.Then there's the third seat, currently held by Lee Wishau, who is being challenged by John Leiber.
School Board candidates include incumbents Don Nielsen, Kim Plache and Gretchen Warner and challengers Brian Dey, Roger Pfost and Scott Brownell. With the exception of Plache, the candidates presented their views during a forum on Feb. 7. Plache was absent because she was injured in a car accident.
Racine County Races
In addition to our village and school board races, voters also will be casting ballots for various Racine County races.
Over on the circuit court, we have contested races for Branches 5 and 10. Former Racine County District Attorney Michael Nieskes will face off against Mike Piontek in Branch 5. Over in Branch 10, Mark Nielsen is being challenged by Timothy Boyle.
Primary Race for President
Oh, yes...that too. Although there are four active candidates campaigning for the Republican nomination for president, all candidates who have thrown their hat in the ring will still be listed on the ballot: Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum.
Although there are no expected challengers to the sitting Democratic President Barack Obama, it still exists as an option to write in. Please note you will be required to fill in the preferred party you will vote in first, then pick an individual candidate within that party.
Election Law Changes
Since the Voter ID law was struck down, residents do not need a photo ID to cast a ballot, but to register to vote, citizens do need to meet other residency requirements: a resident of the village for the previous 28 days, Driver's license or State ID number and a piece of mail like a utility bill to prove their current address.
Residents can still vote even if they haven't lived in the village for the past 28 days, but they have to vote in their previous municipality.
Also, voters should still be prepared to sign the poll book when they arrive to cast their ballot.