Your article on student disenfranchisement needs a postscript ("Students Get Shaft in Recall," 6/8/2012). The article described students who were unable to register and vote because they could not provide acceptable proof of residence.
Between now and July 25 is "open registration." An eligible voter can register during this time without proof of residence. This can be done at your clerk's office, or with the League of Women Voters at the Saturday Dane County Farmers' Market. Madison residents can register through any of the 1,400 people who have been trained and appointed as Madison special registration deputies. This group includes Madison librarians and many UW graduate students.
If you have voted before in Wisconsin and are simply changing your address, you can do it all by mail. But if you wait until near the Aug. 14 election, or until Election Day, it gets harder and sometimes ends in disappointment.
Bruce Murphy's analysis of the recall election results ("We're Mad and We're Not Going to Take It," 6/8/2012) trots out the familiar complaint about excessive overtime pay earned by Madison city bus drivers and state corrections officers. The sad truth is that these overtime hours were scheduled by management to fulfill staffing needs that could not be met by hiring new employees thanks to the austerity-laced budgets imposed during the Doyle administration.
Murphy somehow fails to mention that the state pension fund (which he characterizes as being run on "paper profits...that have since disappeared") is one of the nation's best-run pension plans. It is in no foreseeable danger of defaulting on any of its payment obligations, since employee annuity payments are subject to annual adjustments based on fund performance, resulting in reduced pension payments for many state retirees in recent years.
The only possible conclusion is that Murphy and his Republican allies are laying the groundwork for an assault on the state pension fund. Of course Gov. Scott Walker did not campaign on a promise to reform the state pension system, but in 2010 he didn't campaign on his plan to "reform" union bargaining rights either. Does anyone hear another bomb being dropped?
Warren J. Gordon
Bruce Murphy replies: Any state employee can choose the defined benefits option and the vast majority do, which gives them no reduction in their pension if the fund's market return declines. As for the overtime, the problem arose because the lion's share went to union members with seniority.