What's Even the Point of Voting if You Can't Meet Pat Listach or a Racing Sausage?
By Kyle Koster
There are countless reasons to vote in this year's elections. Some see it as a civic duty. Others as a sacred right. Many are pleased with the direction this country is headed in and long for current leadership to continue. Many others have seen enough and desperately want change. And still others are hoping to use Election Day as way to catch a glimpse of Jim Gantner or Brad Lohaus or an intern in an 8-foot sausage costume.
Sadly, those in that final group must grapple with some tough news as the Republican Party of Wisconsin has decided to put their foot down and eliminate any possibility of such a meeting occurring.
"Andrew Hitt, chairman of the state Republican Party, has sent a letter to Milwaukee officials saying it would be illegal to have any mascots or players at Fiserv Forum or Miller Park when they are used as early voting locations before the November general election. Hitt said in his Tuesday letter that state law prohibits "electioneering" at such locations. A get-out-the-vote effort — presumably by using Bango and the Racing Sausages to entice people to the early voting sites — would constitute electioneering, he argued. "All of the Bucks' and Brewers' athletes and mascots are, of course, beloved of their fans, so their presence at a venue is undoubtedly something of significant value," Hitt wrote. "Consequently, it would be inappropriate for them to be at Miller Park or Fiserv Forum while those venues are in use as alternate absentee ballot sites."
Now, a lot of you simpletons are confused here because electioneering usually requires pushing one candidate over another. But savvy political pundits like myself know that the state's Uecker's Law requires all team personnel to be located just a bit outside the polls.
That was a joke. An independent analysis consisting of me asking a few of my lawyer pals with varying politics suggests this letter may not exactly be built upon a slam-dunk case. Although, to be fair, if a bunch of current Bucks players were to show up, it'd be a sane argument to suggest they were incentivizing voters toward the Democratic party considering their advocacy in the bubble.
But imagine deciding to change your vote because Bernie Brewer handed you some literature or Glenn "Big Dog" Robinson sold you on trickle-down economics at the Eleventh Hour. Can't have that become a reality. Things are already weird enough?