2017 | Week of February 13 | #1190
You, yes you, have an opportunity to be a difference-maker next Tuesday! Are you prepared to do that? Are you ready to vote knowledgeably, responsibly and prayerfully?
Next Tuesday, February 21, Wisconsin has its spring non-partisan primary election. This election narrows the field of candidates to two per race. No candidates in any race are running based on their political party affiliation, hence the “non-partisan” reference.
Every voter in Wisconsin will have at least one primary race on their ballot and that is for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. This is the only statewide race with a primary. This constitutional office oversees the administration of the Department of Public Instruction. It is a four-year term. Currently the position is held by Dr. Tony Evers, who has been in office for 8 years.
Dr. Evers is being challenged by Dr. Lowell Holtz and Mr. John Humphries. The two candidates with the most votes next Tuesday will move on to the Spring Non-partisan General Election on Tuesday, April 4. Information on the candidates, including their biographies and critical endorsements, is available on their websites. Dr. Evers’ website is tonyforwisconsin.com/. Dr. Holtz’s website is kidservative.org, and Mr. Humphries’ website is humphriesforschools.org. I highly recommend you check these websites.
For the last four years, many people have complained about and been concerned about the state adopting Common Core State Standards in Math and English as our state model academic standards and building state standardized tests around these standards. Who originally accepted Common Core on behalf of the state? Who establishes model academic standards for Wisconsin? The State Superintendent of Public Instruction, that’s who.
Who is responsible for administering the school voucher program and other school choice programs we have in Wisconsin? That would be the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The person holding that position, for instance, has the power and authority to either make it harder or easier for schools enrolling voucher students.
Who tracks home schooling in Wisconsin? Who collects data on students and oversees its use at the state level? The State Superintendent of Public Schools as the leader of the Department of Public does all of this.
Who issues model policies for all Wisconsin school districts related to bullying, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender confusion and more? That, too, comes from the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Are you getting the sense that this office of State Superintendent of Public Instruction is important? I hope so. It’s incredibly important. It’s certainly worthy of your learning about the candidates and making sure you get to the polls and vote.
Now, while State Superintendent of Public Instruction is the only statewide race with a primary, your own ballot may have other races on it. You need to know that before you go vote—whether you are voting early in person or by absentee ballot or going to the polls on Tuesday. I urge you to visit myvote.wi.gov, that’s myvote.wi.gov. On the home page just click on “What’s On My Ballot?” and follow the instructions to see exactly what is on your ballot. You just might be surprised. You might have a school board primary or a village or town board primary or a mayoral primary or some other local office with a primary. Don’t be surprised…be prepared.
I have one more thing for you to do. Talk to friends, family members, fellow church goers and others about what you’ve heard today. Urge them to make sure they vote on Tuesday, February 21. If you have questions about the candidates or voting in general, give us a call at 888-378-7395, and we’ll do our best to help you. Share what you know about the candidates. Send emails. Make phone calls.
This type of election typically has very low voter turnout. Some are saying it might be as low as just 5% of registered voters. That means your one vote has the weight of 20 votes. Your vote never counts more than in elections where few votes are cast—elections just like the one coming up. Be a difference maker…a smart, informed, prepared, not surprised difference maker this Tuesday, February 21.
For Wisconsin Family Council, I’m Julaine Appling, reminding you the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”