Poll worker Kathleen Krchnavek works the Olbrich Gardens polling site in Madison, Wis., on Feb. 16, 2021. (Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch)
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Of note: This week we highlight two stories from our Democracy on the Ballot series. Wisconsin Watch’s Phoebe Petrovic explores how conservatives in Wisconsin are angling for political advantage by opposing policies aimed at making LGBTQ students feel safer and more accepted. Wisconsin Watch’s Jacob Resneck examines how clerks in Wisconsin are preparing for possible clashes at the polls on Nov. 8.

We’d also like to highlight a feature on the Wisconsin Watch website: If you see a claim on social media about the Nov. 8 election or one of the candidates — and you wonder if it’s true — ask Wisconsin Watch’s tipline. If you don’t find the answer there, you can ask us to investigate!  

Access to some stories listed in the Wisconsin Weekly roundup may be limited to subscribers of the news organizations that produced them. We urge our readers to consider supporting these important news outlets by subscribing. 

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Poll worker Kathleen Krchnavek works the Olbrich Gardens polling site in Madison, Wis., on Feb. 16, 2021. (Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch)

Wisconsin clerks face challenges as voter skepticism becomes new reality

Wisconsin Watch — October 26, 2022

With political polarization reaching a fever pitch, front line election workers are reporting novel challenges such as aggressive questioning of longstanding practices. And although violent threats have been rare, some clerks are offering crisis training — and stocking trauma kits — actions that years ago would have been unimaginable.

Protesters hold signs protesting the Supreme Court’s draft ruling on Roe vs. Wade on May 14, 2022, at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, Wis. (Angela Major / WPR)

Anti-LGBTQ ‘panic’ roils Wisconsin, providing political fodder for the right

Wisconsin Watch — October 27, 2022

When the anti-transgender movement entered Wisconsin’s gubernatorial race, it began with a handout. Somewhere on the Department of Public Instruction’s website was a document titled “Resources for gender expansive preschoolers,” which listed materials with stories about transgender children

Sarah Bressler, manager of the Hunger Task Force farm in Franklin, Wis., harvests carrots in one of the farm’s hoop houses on March 1, 2022. (Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch)

Local grow-your-own movement blossoms in America’s Dairyland

Wisconsin Watch — October 24, 2022

Wisconsin’s grow-your-own movement includes farmers markets, urban farming initiatives, community supported agriculture and food banks that provide local produce and, increasingly, offer programs aimed at meeting the needs of the 1 in 12 Wisconsinites who are food insecure. 

Read earlier installments of Wisconsin Watch’s Beyond Hunger series.

Similac formula is seen on the shelf at the Willy Street Co-op North grocery store in Madison, Wis., on Oct. 18, 2022. (Coburn Dukehart/ Wisconsin Watch)

The baby formula shortage is easing. Here’s what Wisconsin parents and caregivers should know

Wisconsin Watch — October 21, 2022

A nationwide baby formula shortage that stressed families for much of 2022 is easing in Wisconsin, but questions about formula access still loom for some caregivers.

Previously from Wisconsin Watch: ‘When it’s rigid, it breaks’: How federal rules and market dominance fueled Wisconsin’s baby formula shortage

Ray McCormick shows off some native plants on wetlands he restored on his land near Vincennes, Ind., in May 2021. (Robert Scheer/ Indianapolis Star)

A wetter world is changing Midwest farming. Can growers adapt?

Minneapolis Star Tribune / Indianapolis Star / The Gazette — October 25, 2022

A hotter atmosphere is causing rain to fall in harder bursts, pushing back planting seasons and drowning crops. 

Related from the Mississippi River Basin Ag & Water Desk: Gripped by drought, drenched by rain, Mississippi River basin sees climate extremes

That cardboard box in your home is fueling election denial

ProPublica/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — October 26, 2022

Much of the cardboard and paper goods strewn about our homes are sold by a single private company, with its name, Uline, stamped on the bottom. Few Americans know that a multibillion-dollar fortune made on those ubiquitous products is now fueling election deniers and other far-right candidates across the country.

Fears over fate of democracy leave many voters frustrated and resigned

The New York Times — October 23, 2022

Wisconsin, perhaps more than any other state, is suffering through the erosion of democratic ideals. Although virtually every elected statewide officer here is a Democrat, extreme gerrymandering of state legislative maps has given Republicans near supermajorities in the state Senate and Assembly.

Listen to the Times’ coverage of Wisconsin’s gerrymandered maps on The Run-Up podcast.

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