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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

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You are currently viewing all posts written by Katelin Chow. Kat Chow is an undergraduate at the University of Washington with a passion for multimedia storytelling. In the past, she’s freelanced for various Seattle news outlets and hyper-local blogs. She's also worked with KOMO News, NBC Olympics, UWTV and The Daily of the University of Washington. Currently, Katelin is a food columnist and calendar editor for the Seattle Weekly, and also works with The Seattle Times' online team.

June 1, 2012 at 11:30 AM

On the road in Wisconsin: voices from Sheboygan

Part of the UW Election Eye team headed north from Milwaukee toward Green Bay, making stops along the way to meet people from a small Wisconsin town.

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. — Mac, a 40-something-year-old who lives here really hates the “L”, “R” and “C” words.

Mac's house in Sheboygan, featuring his homemade Scott Walker sign on the front lawn. (Lucas Anderson/UW Election Eye)

In everybody-else speak, that’s “liberal,” “recall election” and “collective bargaining.” Another word that, to use one of his phrases, “sticks in [his] craw” is “recount.” Mac wasn’t a fan of the Florida election recount for the 2000 presidential election.

What really gets him going is mention of the Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election.

But it’s no surprise: This life-long Wisconsinite (“you-can-call-me-Mac-and-just-that”), agreed to chat with us when we stumbled upon his giant, hand-painted “SCOTT WALKER IS SAVING WISCONSIN” sign. The sign’s other side is more succinct: “SCOTT WALKER YES.”

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Comments | More in Culture, National | Topics: campaign signs, Governor Walker, Tea Party

May 27, 2012 at 6:26 AM

Voter identification laws growing in number in Wisconsin and beyond; Washington stays same

Graphic by Betsy Hauenstein / UW Election Eye

Wisconsin’s Act 23 voter ID law, passed in 2011 and considered to be one of the nation’s strictest, is on hold until court rulings at the end of June. This means it won’t be in effect for the June 5 recall election for Governor Scott Walker, who worked with Republican legislators to pass the law. Washington has a voter ID law as well, but with some important differences.

MILWAUKEE — Six months ago, 27-year-old Lyterrell Stokes took a half-day off work and paid a friend $10 to drive him to the Department of Motor Vehicles, according to a public affidavit. Stokes, a registered voter who’s lived in Wisconsin for most of his life and has voted in previous elections, was on a mission: to get a photo ID so that he could vote.

Wisconsin’s Act 23 voter ID law, passed in 2011, requires that people show a photo ID in order to cast a ballot. In March, one judge declared the law unconstitutional and another ordered an injunction, immediately halting it until further review. Stokes was one of the plaintiffs in a voter-ID lawsuit filed by the NAACP and immigration group Voces de la Frontera against Governor Scott Walker and other Wisconsin Republicans who passed the law.

To be clear, the voter ID law won’t be in effect for the June 5 recall election. It may be overturned at the end of June and implemented for upcoming primaries in August.

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Comments | More in National | Topics: Voter ID law, Voter Identification law, Wisconsin recall

May 24, 2012 at 3:00 PM

For some, Wisconsin’s recall election hits home — starting with the front yard

UW Election Eye is on the road for three weeks, covering politics in the heartland of America. One of our points of focus is Wisconsin’s historic gubernatorial recall election, set for June 5. For some, this election is particularly personal. One union organizer in Elkhorn, Wis., isn’t shy about putting forward her views — on the…

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Comments | More in National | Topics: Scott Walker, Tom Barrett, Unions

May 15, 2012 at 6:30 AM

South Seattle’s immigrant community fighting uphill battle for transportation

The bus stop at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Way South and Renton Place South on a lonely weekday morning. (Photo by Kat Chow/UW Election Eye)

Changes to bus route 42, along Martin Luther King Jr. Way South, are a good example of how, despite Metro’s best efforts, service cuts are leaving South Seattle immigrants feeling neglected.

SEATTLE — Getting from point A to point B isn’t easy for 68-year-old Tuyet Mhi Mai. Especially when those points are her daughter’s crowded Lake City home and service classes or work in South Seattle.

Since King County Metro reduced the frequency of bus route 42 because it runs parallel to the Light Rail, Mai’s commute is a little more complicated and time-consuming.

For South Seattle’s public-transit-dependant immigrant communities, saving bus 42 isn’t just about one bus route. It’s about getting King County Metro and the county council to understand its transportation needs.

Representatives from King County Metro say they’re listening — or at least trying to. But the balance between providing efficient, cost-effective bus routes and meeting the needs of groups facing language and cultural barriers isn’t easy.

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Comments | More in Local | Topics: bus, immigrant, King County

April 20, 2012 at 11:30 AM

King County has low number of registered Asian American voters, leaders taking action

Linh Vu and Nancy Huang ask a Beacon Hill resident if she's registered to vote. (Photo by Kat Chow/UW Election Eye)

Despite a growing population, Washington’s Asian Pacific Islander community has a disproportionately low percentage of registered voters. This election season, community leaders are launching a big push to change that.

SEATTLE — Nancy Huang, a senior at Garfield High School, had never canvassed before.

But there she was on a sunny afternoon in Beacon Hill, standing nervously on the front steps of a stranger’s porch. The rest of her doorbelling team — an international student from Vietnam and a labor union member — watched from the sidewalk. Huang wondered if she’d have to resort to her “not so great” Mandarin in order to ask: “Are you registered to vote?”

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Comments | More in Local | Topics: Asian American Pacific Islanders, Election 2012, Local