Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

Remember to vote for only one party Tuesday

News you can use

During Tuesday’s primary election, voters are not allowed to split the ticket. Voters must choose candidates from a single political party. Here are details in a memo I received from the Legislative Reference Bureau:


To: Senator Mary Lazich

From: Legislative Reference Bureau, Reference Section

Subject: Primary Elections

The Legislative Reference Bureau has received multiple requests for information, both from legislative offices and the general public, regarding Wisconsin’s primary election. Many of the questions relate to “crossover” voting, and particularly why electors are not allowed to vote for candidates in more than one party.

Below is a brief discussion of the issue, mainly excerpted from the 2009-2010 Wisconsin Blue Book, page 885. We hope this information may be useful in answering inquiries from constituents or the media.

Primary Elections. Until 1905, Wisconsin candidates for public office were selected through caucuses or conventions composed of delegates, eligible voters, or members of a political party. Since then, candidates have been chosen in primary elections, but the nominating caucus remains an optional method of selecting candidates for town and village offices. Aspirants must file a declaration of candidacy to run in a primary election, and they usually are required to file nomination papers signed by a specified number of persons eligible to vote in the jurisdiction or district in which they seek office.

Partisan September Primary. The purpose of the September partisan primary is to select a party’s nominees for the general election in November. In a partisan primary, the voter may vote on the ballot of only one political party (unlike the general election where it is possible to select any party’s candidate for a particular office). Some voters express frustration that their choices are limited because they are not permitted to vote for candidates of more than one party. It is important to remember that the primary is a nominating device for the political parties; its purpose is to nominate the candidates that one political party will support against the nominees of the other parties in the general election.

Most states have a closed primary system that requires voters to publicly declare their party affiliation before they can receive the primary ballot of that party. Wisconsin’s “open primary” law does not require voters to make a public declaration of their party preference. Instead, the voter is given the primary ballots of all parties but, once inside the voting booth, may cast only one party’s ballot.

Candidates must appear on the primary ballot, even if unopposed, in order to be nominated by their respective parties. The candidate receiving the largest number of party votes for an office becomes the party’s nominee in the November election. (In the case of a special election, which is held at a time other than the general election to fill a vacated partisan office, a primary is not held if there is no more than one candidate for
a party’s nomination.)

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Page Tools