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Let’s move on

While it’s not exactly surprising that Wisconsin’s presidential election results are still being contested in court, it’s depressing to see so much time and money being wasted to overturn the will of the people. A lawsuit filed on Monday by the Wisconsin Voters Alliance — an “alliance” composed solely of Republicans — seeks to stop the certification of the election results on Dec. 1. Mixing together faulty legal arguments, a conspiracy theory involving Faebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and highly speculative math, the petitioners are trying to get the Wisconsin Supreme Court to throw out the votes casts by actual citizens and instead have the Republican-controlled legislature decide Wisconsin’s pick for president.

Talk about undermining democracy. If this suit were successful, which it likely won’t be, all 3.3 million votes cast for president would be nullified in favor of those made by 132 members of the assembly and senate. Our voting machines may as well have been industrial paper shredders. The thousands of poll workers and clerks who worked hard to ensure a free and fair election would get a collective slap in the face.

We hope that our state’s high court will do what other courts have done and throw this suit out. A ruling like this would go a long way to putting this bitter, divisive election in the rearview mirror. It’s time to move on, but it’s understandable why that may be difficult for people since the race was decided by just 20,608 votes statewide. If you’re feeling it hard to accept the results of the race for the White House — and undoubtedly many in this area are — there is something constructive you can do: Run for office.

Shake off that election fatigue, and take a look at the notices of spring elections that appear on pages 8 and 9 of today’s edition. This coming April 6, local voters will once again get a chance to decide who runs their local municipalities and school districts. These races are never as flashy or highprofi le as presidential or gubernatorial ones, but they can have big impacts on life at a local level.

Take the two local school boards for example. Just recently, the boards in Abbotsford and Colby charted different courses on the contentious issues of mandating masks in schools. Members of the Colby School Board, after hearing from a room full of parents who were mostly opposed to stricter mask rules, stuck by the district’s policy requiring a doctor’s note for exceptions. The Abbotsford School Board, on the other, voted the same night to only “highly recommend” masks if the governor’s mask mandate lapsed (it was extended).

If you are upset with the way either of these boards voted on an this issue — or how they’ve handled the COVID-19 crisis in general — now’s your time to get your name on the ballot and challenge one of the incumbents. Without contested races, there’s little chance that a board will ever change its decision-making. The districts face more major decisions in the near future, especially Abbotsford, which will be hiring a new superintendent and deciding what to do about the high school’s leaking pool and a major FEMA grant.

Local municipalities are also facing some signifi cant decision points. The village of Dorchester will be rebuilding its local police force in the next year, not only by hiring a new officer or chief but following up with policy-making and oversight. The city of Colby is poised to create a new TIF district, one that will drive future development on the city’s northeast side. Meanwhile, Abbotsford will potentially be electing a new mayor while the city is still in the midst of some major development (along with growing pains). The village of Curtiss is also experiencing a growth spurt, with two new apartments going up and a possible expansion of Abbyland Food’s pork plant.

All of these issues require leadership by local elected officials. Let’s forget the White House for awhile and focus on who is running the local city hall or school district.

The Tribune-Phonograph editorial board consists of publisher Kris O’Leary and editor Kevin O’Brien