“Vote early and vote often” could be the theme of Wisconsin’s August 14th partisan primary election, although not in the voter fraud sense. This is the earliest primary since WWII and the fifth vote of 2012.
The Legislature moved the partisan primary from the second Tuesday in September to the second Tuesday in August so Wisconsin can comply with a federal law designed to give military and overseas voters enough time to vote by absentee ballot.
Despite the earlier time and a few heated races, the GAB is predicting only 20 percent of the voting age population – or approximately 870,500 voters – will turn out to vote in the partisan primary. Historically, the highest voter turnout in a non-gubernatorial fall primary in the last 20 years was 21 percent in 1992. Statistics on past voter turnout and current voter registration are available on this state-run website.
Some things to keep in mind if you plan on being part of the 20 percent who show up at the polls:
- Redistricting means some voter may be voting in new locations and/or for unfamiliar candidates. Voters can visit this state-run website to check their registration status, find their polling place, and see their sample ballot.
- Absentee ballots can be requested by mail from July 30 through August 9. Absentee voting in person at the clerk’s office ends on August 10.
- Because this is a partisan primary, voters can only vote for candidates from one party. No crossover voting is allowed.
- Wisconsin’s open primary system does not require voters to declare a party. However, a voter may indicate a party preference on the ballot which ensures that votes for candidates of that party will be counted in the event candidates from another party were inadvertently selected.
- Wired Wisconsin has compiled a useful list of the websites and social media accounts of all Wisconsin candidates.
- WisconsinEye has video from a myriad of campaign events and debates available on its website.