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Traffic at Kenosha Polls Lives Up to High Expectations

Poll workers confirm steady streams of traffic at two locations.

Residents of Senate District 22 filed through polling locations on Aug. 16 at a steady pace for the recall election of Bob Wirch (D-Kenosha). He faces Republican challenger Jonathan Steitz.

Marty Redlin, chief inspector at the Moose Lodge on 30th Street, said turnout is less than during the 2008 Presidential election but well above normal.

"I feel like this is an emotional election for people on both sides," he said. "And it's interesting because with the redistricting maps, neither candidate lives inside the new senate district."

Wirch was targeted for recall because he was one of 14 state senators to leave the state to stop a vote on Governor Scott Walker's budget repair bill, which removed most collective bargaining rights from public employees.

Caledonia, Mount Pleasant and Sturtevant residents could be affected on more than a state level by the outcome of this re-call election. If the new district maps are adopted, the villages will become part of one district while the cities of Racine and Kenosha along with parts of Mount Pleasant and Somers will be a separate district represented by Van Wanggaard (R-Racine).

Dolores Cisewski said she turned out because elections are important.

"Especially the way things are going in Madison," she stated even as she wouldn't reveal for which candidate she supported.

Stephanie Dillon and Siri Beckstrom are on oppposite sides of the aisle; Dillon votes Democrat and Beckstrom is for the Republicans.

"Democrats look out for the greater good," Dillon stated. "I'll be voting for Bob Wirch."

"I think President Obama is ruining the country," Beckstrom said. "I will vote against the Democrats for that reason."

Over at the Northside Library on 14th Street, Poll Captain Charles Short said they were told to expect a high turnout.

"So really, it's going as they told us it would," he said.

Pat Cox said he came out to cast his vote because he was exercising his constitutional right to try and make a change.

"I'm not happy to see a man vacate his job no matter if he agreed or disagreed, it was his duty to be there," Cox said, referring to Wirch going to Illinois.

But Heidi Jones and her husband, Shane, support Wirch for that very reason.

"He did what he thought was right," Shane said. "I'm actually kind of annoyed that we're doing this."

Heidi is a teacher so she wants to make sure Wirch gets re-elected.

"I feel like what's going on in the state is being blamed on educators," she said. "Wirch has done really good things for this district and, of course, he supports teachers."

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