If you haven’t started thinking about (or even studying for) the August 14th Primary election, you might be too late! In La Crosse County alone, because of the two Assembly Districts, there will be 10 ballots but in nearby Monroe County with two Congressional Districts and three Assembly Districts, there will be 20 ballots. These numbers are justified by each Assembly District has a ballot for each of the five recognized political parties and then when an Assembly District is split between two Congressional Districts there is another set of ballots.
But don’t despair, or at least not yet. Each voter can only vote on one ballot. The voter will select a party ballot from a choice of five based on the geographical district of residence. Along with Republican and Democratic Parties, the other three recognized political parties are Libertarian Party, Wisconsin Green Party, and Constitution Party. In an analysis of the six state-wide contests (Governor, LT Governor, Attorney General, Treasurer, Secretary of State and US Senate) the three lesser-known parties only have two candidates on their sample ballots and those are for different offices so, unless beaten by a yet to appear registered write-in candidate, those names will appear on the November ballot.
Then, looking at the Democratic and Republican sample ballots, it gets chaotic. The most populated contest is the Democratic primary for Governor with ten candidates on the ballot. Two of these candidates have since dropped out while there is one registered write-in candidate to consider. Do the math, does this mean that the winner may have as little as 12 or 15% of the votes cast? The Republicans, on the other hand, have a five-way contest for the US Senate nomination.
Both major parties have a primary in four of the six state-wide contests. Of interest, Governor Walker has a Republican primary opponent as does the long-term Secretary of State, Democrat Doug La Follette. Remember the defeated Constitutional Amendment initiative in last April’s election to remove the State Treasurer’s Office from the Constitution? Both major parties have a primary for State Treasurer. Neither party has a primary for Attorney General, thus the candidates for Attorney General in the November election are already known.
And then here in western Wisconsin there are some primary contests for Congress, the State Legislature, and some county offices. Monroe County, for example, has a four-way Republican primary for Sheriff. An informed voter needs to do some homework prior to the Primary Election on August 14th!