Votes are limited to one party only next Tuesday

Local voters will face decisions in several state and areawide races in next Tuesday’s primary election.

Most notably, the ballot includes races for governor, U.S. Senate and the 1st District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Polls in all communities open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. The winners in the primary election will represent their respective parties in the Nov. 6 General Election.

For information on how to vote, where to vote and who’s on the ballot in your community, visit Voters may also contact their local municipal clerks for information specific to their communities.

According to state election officials, there are two things all voters must know to properly cast a ballot in the primary:

  • The voter ID law is in effect and all voters must show a suitable photo identification card to receive a ballot. Among the acceptable forms are: A Wisconsin Department of Transportation-issued drivers license; a Wisconsin DOT-issued photo ID; a U.S. passport book or card; a military ID card; a photo ID card issued by an accredited college or university that includes date of issue, signature of student expiration date and suitable proof of current enrollment.
  • Voters are allowed to cast their ballot in one party only during the partisan primary. That means, according to the state Elections Commission, that all votes on a single ballot must be cast within a single party – be it Democrat, Republican or other party. Ballots that include votes for races in more than one party will be rejected and will not be counted. State election officials stress the rule applies to all races across the ballot and a ballot is void if, for example, a voter casts a vote for a Democrat in the governor’s race and then votes for a Republican in the U.S. Senate race.

Most voters will have multiple chances to atone for any mistakes on ballots that are tabulated electronically.

According to state election officials, if your municipality has electronic voting equipment, it is programed to reject ballots with crossover votes. Voters will be given up to three chances to cast their ballot properly.


Primary ballot

Tuesday’s ballot features a 10-candidate race for the Democrat Party nominee for governor. The candidates are (listed in ballot order) Andy Gronik, Matt Flynn, Tony Evers, Josh Pade, Mike McCabe, Mahlon Mitchell, Kelda Helen Roys, Paul R. Soglin, Kathleen Vinehout and Dana Wachs. On the Republican side, incumbent Gov. Scott Walker faces a challenge from lightly regarded candidate Robert Meyer.

The battle for the right to face U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat, has brought out five Republican candidates – most notably State Sen. Leah Vukmir and businessman Kevin Nicholson. The other Republican candidates are George Lucia, Griffin Jones and Charles Barman.

Other statewide races on the ballot include Lt. Governor (two Democrats), Secretary of State (two Democrats and two Republicans) and State Treasurer (three Democrats and two Republicans).

In the race for Wisconsin’s 1st District seat in U.S. Congress, six Republicans and two Democrats are vying for the chance to replace House Speaker Paul Ryan, who announced earlier this year he will not seek another term.

On the Republican side the candidates, listed in ballot order, are Jeremy Ryan, Paul Nehlen, Kevin Adam Steen, Brad Boivin, Bryan Steil and Nick Polce. Steil, a former Paul Ryan staff member and current member of the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, has been endorsed by the out-going Congressman. Steen is a Burlington resident and Polce lives in Lake Geneva.

Democrats seeking the 1st District seat are Randy Bryce, an ironworker from Kenosha, and Janesville School Board member Cathy Myers.


County voters to use new equipment

Over the summer, the Walworth County Clerk’s Office received a shipment of 35 new pieces of voting equipment and related technology. Dominion Imagecast Evolution or ICE machines that uses optical scanner technology to read marked paper ballots and tally the results of the upcoming Aug. 14 Partisan Primary will be used countywide.

In 2018, Walworth County Board of Supervisors authorized the purchase of the new countywide system to replace the existing 17-year-old technology and to ensure a consistent voting experience throughout the county.

Most voters will see little change in the voting process with the new machines. They will continue to use a pen to fill in an oval next to the name of the candidate they choose and then slide their completed ballot into the new optical scan machine.

If there are errors, such as selecting two candidates in one race or making an unrecognizable mark on the ballot, a message explaining the error will appear on the machine’s screen, giving the voter a chance to fix it. By comparison, the old machines displayed an error message on a tiny LCD screen.

“The typical voter experience will be relatively unchanged,” Walworth County Clerk Kim Bushey said. “If voters make an error casting a ballot, they will now get a more descriptive message making it easier for them to resolve it without poll worker assistance, giving them more privacy.”

In a press release about the new voting equipment, Bushey commended the Walworth County Board for their decision to purchase the system on a countywide basis and stressed the importance of having the entire County on one system.

She said that more than 80 Municipal Clerks, Deputy Clerks and Chief Inspectors were trained on the use of the new equipment. The training culminated in a Mock Election to test the equipment on site at each of the polling locations.

Bushey also had words of praise for the municipal clerks.

“The town, village and city clerks were supportive in this process and it was their progressive attitude which enabled this process to occur,” she said.


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