The recall election is finally here, and with it comes the likely end of a political crisis that has made Wisconsin the center of national discussion and ridicule.

We do not want to see more division in this state. We also do not wish to see Gov. Scott Walker, who has proven himself a divisive leader of questionable morals throughout his term, return from his year-long battle unscathed and ready to finish the job he started.

The Badger Herald endorses Tom Barrett for governor.

When Barrett says he is a healer who will bring Wisconsin back to normal, we believe him. If elected, his commitment to more civil politics here will be difficult to maintain, but his earnest belief in Wisconsin’s traditional values of moderate, consensus-building decision making makes him the obvious choice over Walker.

The stakes could not be higher in this election. A Barrett victory would be a victory for University of Wisconsin students, who for the last year have seen attacks on their right to vote, their right to influence statewide policy-making and the sacredness of the goals of the university. During his campaign and throughout his own tenure as Milwaukee’s mayor, Barrett has proven his belief that education is a central component of the state’s ability to survive economically and socially. Walker’s laundry list of cuts to the university as tax rates for highly profitable businesses remain untouched suggests he believes otherwise.

Other issues that Democrats have highlighted in the run-up to Tuesday’s election are not irrelevant. Barrett falls into a bipartisan line of Wisconsin politicians like Tommy Thompson and Russ Feingold noted for their moderation and earnestness. Walker, seen through his evasiveness, dismissal of all Democrats and obvious disdain for Madison’s well-being, should be an irrelevant blip on the radar screen instead of the far-right’s darling.

This election is the most important students will participate in for years, if not decades. Failure to turn out at the polls could result in more dark days for Wisconsin, UW and the City of Madison.