Elections may matter most to those who feel ‘too busy’

Jim Baumgart  Sheboygan County Supervisor

The fall election will take place on Tuesday, November 4th in Wisconsin. As always, it is important to encourage everyone to register and come out and cast their ballot for the candidates of their choice.

So when I heard a young mother, as she was being reminded of the upcoming election at the recent Sheboygan Earthfest, tell the person she was talking to that she had three kids and didn’t have time for elections, I was somewhat taken back and surprised by that comment.

I have no reason to judge this person. Not knowing her background or the pressures she might be under; such as if she was a single mom, financially stressed or other issues facing her. But she has three children and holds their future in her hands.

Those we elect will likely have an important impact on her and those children’s lives. So, elections are important.

Schools are critical in educating her children and help provide many of the tools that they will needed to be successful.

Early learning educational opportunities could be critical if one or more of her children have a learning issue or disability - starting out in first grade even with other children is important and could help insure they will not be left behind.

Funding of schools and hiring qualified skilled teachers to teach in class sizes where children can learn should be a concern to all parents.

Making sure that college and technical schools are funded and affordable will insure students, including her children, can afford to obtain training for good paying jobs.

If she and her husband are financially limited by part-time employment and/or low paying full-time jobs, making sure there is enough food on their table is available or they can have affordable medical coverage for their family is vital and can be affected by goals of those who are elected.

She may strongly agree that women should get paid equal wages for equal work or may support a higher minimum wage for fulltime work. Elections can be helpful to reach such goals.

I would guess this young lady may not be aware that women were not even allowed to vote until about 1920, when a Constitutional Amendment gave then that right.

Women could not run for office (with some limited options such for a school board position or city council in some parts of the country). And, for a long time, many schools, including colleges and technical schools limited a woman’s educational options.

Finding out some of their views or those of their opponents can be as simple as going on the Internet. That can be done after the children are in bed or, if no home computer is available, it could be done when taking the children to visit a local library.

Voting is a privilege but not a requirement in our country. Somewhat surprising, a large number of people don’t vote at all or only in presidential elections.

Who you vote for is for you to decide but elections are important. Everyone, rich or poor, young (at least 18-years of age) or old, male and female, all get but one vote.

As for the women with three children who is too busy to vote, I have not walked in her footsteps nor experienced the daily pressures she encounters. One cannot nor should judge her.

Hopefully, as her children go to school, she will find it important for them that she becomesYour v more involved.

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