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The Cold Filtered Ramblings of Gene Mueller

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I'm going to miss Amy and Paul.   And who's going to take care of that guy who, although I never met him, had the courtesy to call me at home and call me by my first name?   What was his name again?   It was very distinct and rhymed with "Hit".

That's it!  Mitt.  I would've called him back, had he left a number.

This, of course, is a dramatization.   The folks mentioned above all were on the other end of robo-calls targeting my house for the past couple of weeks.   If I REALLY cared about them, I probably would've picked up the phone and listened to their spiels.  Instead, I became very good at lifting the receiver before gently setting it back on the cradle.

The end of election season should mean a return to normalcy in these parts, although we'd be forgiven if we've forgotten what that feels like in Wisconsin.   We've been in non-stop voting cycle since Scott Walker became Governor.   Elections and recalls became as much a part of the landscape as muskie-filled lakes, brats on the grill and winter, which, like the relentless balloting, goes on way too long.

What did we learn?

--Wisconsin is neither red or blue.  It's purple.   The same state that went  for President Obama and Tammy Baldwin allowed it's legislature to blossom red.   Wisconsin handed Democrats big wins after it turned out in huge numbers to help the Republican Walker fight back an unprecedented recall just six months before.

--It's a great time to be an incumbent Wisconsin member of the House.  All of 'em won.

--Fox News has a lot of conservatives.   MSNBC has a lot of liberals.  CNN has a lot of nifty techno-toys.

--For all the beefing about fraud, the biggest problem facing our election system is the system itself.   Each municipality makes it's own decisions about the actual machinery used to make and count votes, and it's far from perfect.  Ballots get misprinted, or are in short supply.  In Florida, they were ponderously long.  Then there are the absentee and provisional ballots which get handled and counted at local and state whims.  We see how close presidential elections get, yet we can't come up with a one-size-fits-all way to vote and, if need be, recount those ballots.  No one wants an election settled in court, but we keep tempting that unsavory fate every four years.

There were no deal-breaking troubles this time around.   Planes full of lawyers representing both parties stood down as the threat of legal action vanished amid piles of counted ballots.   Hijinks and hanky panky were at a minimum.   The system didn't collapse under its own weight (although it still took ions to get final counts of of Waukesha County--again).

We're coming up on the two year anniversary of Scott Walker's innaugural and his Act 10 decision that launched the election/recall cycle we've been enduring ever since.   Vote-weary Wisconsin sorely needs a break, badly needs a stretch devoid of treks to the neighborhood polling station. 

More bar.  Less ballot.   Two choices I think the whole state can overwhelmingly endorse.

 

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