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Encouraging WI Voters to Drop By but not "Drop Off" on Nov. 4

October 13, 2008

Madison, WI - Wisconsin has a reputation for lots of "drop-off voters" - the term for those who cast a vote for President and other, higher offices at the top of the ticket, but don't mark choices for such "lower offices" as the State Assembly and Senate that receive much less attention during campaign season.

Anne Sayers, with the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, says it can be viewed as a positive trait of Wisconsinites that they're unwilling to vote for someone with whom they're unfamiliar. This year, however, she says, there's still plenty of time to fill in those blanks.

"Get out there and learn as much as they can. Check the papers, check candidates' websites, check scorecards, learn more so that on November 4th you can be an educated voter."

Sayers notes that this year's state office-holders could make several big decisions that affect the lives of Wisconsinites.

"It's whether Wisconsin's going to move past our dependence on coal; whether we're going to really invest in creating jobs through clean, renewable energy; what we're going to do about air quality, and water quality and quantity."

Particularly this year, Sayers feels, the local races have been all but drowned out by the extreme amount of attention being paid to the presidential campaigns.

"There's oftentimes not a lot of opportunity to learn more about the state legislative candidates. That's a problem in Wisconsin, where that means we're just not going to vote."

Nonprofit organizations, including the WLCV, often compile candidate scorecards on certain topics - in this case, the state's conservation-related issues. Sayers suggests that's one easy way to get acquainted with the candidates for those offices. See the WLCV conservation scorecard online, at
www.conservationvoters.org.

Eric Mack/Steve Powers, Public News Service - WI