EDITORIAL: Primary vote has some impact on future of stateThe Wisconsin Government Accountability Board is predicting that about 28 percent of the state’s eligible voters (about 1.2 million people) will cast a ballot in the Tuesday, Sept. 14, primary election.
Let the election begin.
The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board is predicting that about 28 percent of the state’s eligible voters (about 1.2 million people) will cast a ballot in the Tuesday, Sept. 14, primary election.
That’s a pretty good number for a primary, considering that such preliminary elections to select some candidates for the fall ballot rarely attract much attention.
Since 1960, the highest voter turnout in a September primary was 27.9 percent in 1964. Two years ago the turnout was just 8.9 percent statewide. So state officials are expecting quite a bump in voter participation, although it’s difficult to know how the GAB came up with its aggressive estimate.
The major draw for this fall’s election cycle will be the office of governor, because incumbent Jim Doyle decided not to seek re-election. There’s a primary race among two Democratic candidates and three Republican candidates.
There is also a Republican primary for U.S. Senate and seven primaries in the eight Congressional districts, including Republican candidates running to make it on the ballot against incumbent U.S Rep. Ron Kind in November.
One local legislative primary is on the ballot, as are several other statewide office races.
While it’s sometimes a challenge to get motivated for a primary battle, voters should pay attention and head to the polls anyway. By having a voice in determining whose name is on the fall ballot, voters have a real impact on the direction of the state and nation. It’s an important step in the entire election process.
In case you didn’t know, Wisconsin’s open primary system does not require voters to declare a party. However, primary voters may only vote for candidates of one party.
Make the effort and vote next Tuesday. This promises to be a rousing start to an interesting fall election season.