Aug. 9 partisan primary race
TINA L. SCOTT
Wisconsin residents are being encouraged to get out and vote in the Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, Partisan Primary Election.
One contested local race on the ballot
Locally, the only contested race is for the Republican Party Sheriff spot on the November ballot. Challenger Grant Peterson is running against current Lincoln County Sheriff Ken Schneider. The two will face off on the ballot to determine who will be listed on the November 2022 ballot to run against Garrett Dinges, who is running as an Independent in that race.
BUT … here are some things you should know about voting on Aug. 9.
Because this is a Partisan Primary Election, a voter can ONLY vote for one party on the ballot, and the results of this vote will determine who is on the November ballot in the actual election for each office. That means, anyone who wants to cast a vote for either Schneider or Peterson in this primary must vote Republican, because they are on the Republican part of the Partisan Primary ballot.
If a voter decides to vote as a Republican in order to vote for one of the candidates running for Sheriff in the Partisan Primary, then that voter must also ONLY vote for Republican candidates on the rest of the ballot and may not vote for any candidates who are running as Democrats.
If a voter wishes to vote for any candidates in the Democratic party, then that voter cannot cast a vote for a candidate in the Republican party section for Sheriff [or any other race in the Republican party section of the ballot].
State races on the primary
Numerous state races are also contested on the Partisan Primary ballot, with candidates battling it out for their place on the November ballot in their respective party.
For the Democratic party, two candidates are competing to be on the November ballot representing the party for Lieutenant Governor: Peng Her and Sara Rodriguez will face off for that spot.
Mandela Barnes, Alex Lasry, Kou C. Lee, Sarah Godlewski, Peter Peckarsky, Steven Olikara, Darrell Williams, and Tom Nelson are all vying for the opportunity to run in the November race for U.S. Senator for Wisconsin on the Democratic ticket.
For the Republican party, there is a lot more competition for names to be printed on the November ballots.
Four candidates – Rebecca Kleefisch, Timothy Ramthun, Adam J. Fischer, and Tim Michels – are all vying for the opportunity to run against current Governor Tony Evers in the November election. This vote will determine which one of them will be on the November ballot in the election for Wisconsin Governor facing off against Evers. Note: Kevin Nicholson, while still listed on the ballot, withdrew from the race weeks ago but not before his name was already printed on the ballot, so Republican voters should be sure to pick one of the other candidates who are still in the race if they want their votes to count.
Another eight candidates – Patrick Testin, Will Martin, Kyle Yudes, Roger Roth, David C. Varman, Cindy Werner, David D. King, and Jonathan Wichmann – are all competing to represent the Republicans on the November ballot for Lieutenant Governor.
Three candidates – Eric Toney, Karen Mueller, and Adam Jarchow – are vying to be the Republican on the November ballot in the Attorney General race.
John S. Lieber and Orlando Owens are going head to head to become the Republican candidate for State Treasurer.
David Schroeder is challenging incumbent Ron Johnson to represent the Republican party on the ballot for U.S. Senator.
And David W. Kunelius II is challenging incumbent Tom Tiffany to represent the Republican party on the ballot for District 7 Representative in Congress.
Important things to know about voting in a Partisan Primary
In a Partisan Primary Election, voters can ONLY cast votes for candidates in ONE party. While candidates for four parties are listed on the ballot – Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, and Constitutional – in a Partisan Primary, voters can ONLY select candidates in ONE party’s section. On the Aug. 9 ballot, the only contested primary races are for the Democratic and Republican parties. Your best approach? Be sure to fill in the oval for the party of your choice in the “Party Preference Section.” Then ONLY look at that section of the ballot and vote for the candidate of your choice for each race in that party’s section for each office.
“Even though all the parties are available on our ballot, we can only vote in one party’s races,” Lincoln County Clerk Chris Marlowe said. “The best way to eliminate confusion is to actually fill in the oval for the party of your choice.”
Marlowe explains that this helps eliminate ruined ballots or ballots that won’t be counted.
“When our optical scanners read the party oval mark, they are programmed to only read the ovals for the races in that party’s section of the ballot,” he said.
“When a voter votes for races in multiple parties, it is considered a crossover vote,” Marlowe said. “Crossover voting is clearly not allowed. You are only allowed to participate in one party’s primary races.”
“If you cross vote on your ballot [vote for candidates in more than one party] and you did not select a party by filling in the oval, your ballot will be disqualified,” he said. “Our optical scanners are programmed to alert the voter when this happens. The voter then has a chance to fix or cure their ballot by filling in the oval [for just one party in the ‘Party Preference Section.’]” Then the voter can re-insert the ballot into the machine so the scanner only counts the votes in the appropriate party section.
This process can slow down voting lines, Marlowe said, but it is an important safeguard that allows voters the option of fixing their ballots so their votes are sure to count.
“It is not a problem for the voters that come to the polls to fix their ballot,” Marlowe said. However, voters who vote absentee don’t have that opportunity.
“Absentee ballots that are voted incorrectly are simply disqualified and not counted,” he said.
“This [a Partisan Primary Election] is confusing to some, and we only do it one time every two years. It helps our election officials and inspectors working the polls to run a smooth election when our voters are educated on our ballots,” Marlowe said. “The polling places can become stressful when there is confusion and slow voting lines.”
“A tougher day at the polls can make the end of the night harder for our officials while wrapping up the election and reporting totals,” he added. “This is how mistakes can happen. Voters and especially candidates do not like to see mistakes. Mistakes can affect a candidate’s chance of winning and, ultimately, their livelihood and family if they rely on their position to pay their bills.”
Get registered to vote
Marlowe also reminds voters to get registered. “Voters should pre-register to vote and can do so with their municipal clerk or by using the State’s online voter registration portal called MyVote,” he said. Here is the link: https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/
Voters can also use that link to identify their polling place and location, monitor their past voting, and view the candidates that will be on their ballot in advance of going to the polls so they can educate themselves on the candidates and make an informed decision about who to vote for.