Clear it up Fridays — The Wisconsin Primary Election

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On Tuesday (August 14), Wisconsin residents will vote in a primary election. The rules for primary elections differ from the general election. In a primary, you must only vote within one political party. In a general election, you can vote for the candidate of your choice, regardless of political party affiliation.  For instance, in a general election you could vote for a Republican senator and a Democratic governor, but in a primary, once you vote for one candidate in a party you must stick with that party as you fill in the rest of your ballot.

You do not have to cast a vote for each open position. You can leave some blank.

Wisconsin does allow same-day registration, so you can register to vote at the polls as long as you have proof of residence, like a driver’s license or a utility bill. You must be a resident of Wisconsin for at least 10 days prior to voting in a Wisconsin election.

Even if you are registered, you will need a photo ID to vote.

While primary elections don’t draw the same turnout as general elections, they are critical to the political process as they whittle down a pool of candidates. For instance, this year, 10 candidates are running for governor in the Democratic Party and only one will make it out of the primary. Also, in Outagamie County, where we’re located, all three candidates running for sheriff are members of the Republican Party, so the primary election will decide the overall winner.

If you have any questions about how to register to vote, please let us know. We’d be glad to help.