It has been a year unlike any other in our lifetimes. Between a virus and a rollicking political season the citizens of Wisconsin have been needing some good news, something that is stabilizing. Such news was delivered Monday afternoon when the state Supreme Court ruled the Green Party presidential candidate will not be on the fall ballot, and in so doing ensuring that absentee ballots will be mailed this week.
That might seem like a small victory but in the midst of uncertainty over the ability of the postal system to handle the ballots on time, and the very real dread about the spread of COVID-19 the ruling from the court will be met with appreciation by the majority of the public.
I readily admit there are many ways to view the entire episode of the Green Party ballot controversy. It can be argued that the Democrats on the State Election Commission that decides who is on the ballot used a technicality to keep the Green Party name off. It can be argued with equal weight that Republicans on that body wished to see the candidate listed so to perhaps lure just enough voters away from Joe Biden to allow Donald Trump a close win. And it can be argued the Green Party has taken a political blow, at a time when some voters truly think our two-party system has failed at national leadership.
The fracas revolved around the Commission splitting 3-3 over placing Howie Hawkins on the ballot. The Green Party running mate, Milwaukee native Angela Walker, had listed two addresses on her campaign paperwork. While there will be some debate about this outcome it would seem to make more sense going forward to have this rule of the Commission refined. There have been cases before where the candidates did not live in the district from where they sought election. The First Senate District and Frank Lasee and Eighth Congressional District with Reid Ribble are but two that come to mind.
At the end of the process we must always give voters a choice, make sure the nomination paper signatures are valid, investigate if it looks like someone signed a whole sheet, or if Mickey Mouse entered his name. And then let voters have their say.
For now, and given all that has come our way this year, let us take some solace that those who wish to cast their ballot safely via the mail this year can do so, and with plenty of time to make sure the mail system can handle the volume. For now we are happy to take the small victories that come our way. That, too, tells us much about the times in which we live.