Recall season officially gets underway in Wisconsin today, as voters in six senate districts will decide which candidate will advance from primary elections to August’s general elections. It’s the first round of recalls that will see Democratic challengers in each of the districts facing off against GOP-backed protest candidates.
Next week, primaries will be held in recall races against two Democratic Senators. State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) will also face his only opponent in a general election.
For both weeks, Government Accountability Board director Kevin Kennedy says turn-out is difficult to predict. He says most of the votes being cast will likely be from those with strong views over the Republican-controlled Legislature’s action earlier this year to curb the collective bargaining powers of public employee unions. That vote is what sparked the recalls against nine members of the state Senate.
For those heading out to vote on Tuesday, Kennedy says there will be some changes at the polls. In addition to stating their name and address, poll workers will be asking voters to show their ID cards in anticipation of a new state law that takes effect next year.
Until next year, a photo ID will not be required to vote. Kennedy says those without an ID will be given an information sheet about the new requirements and how they can go about obtaining a card valid for voting.
One requirement that will be enforced for the primaries is for voters to sign the poll book when obtaining a ballot. Kennedy says the provision was also included in the Voter ID bill passed by lawmakers earlier this year. It’s intended to help reduce clerical errors when assigning voter numbers at the polls and to also provide some forensic evidence for authorities if a person claims someone else voted for them.
Also on Tuesday, voters in the 48th Assembly District will be deciding a Democratic primary to replace former state Representative Joe Parisi, who left the Assembly earlier this year after winning an election for Dane County Executive. No Republicans are running, so the winner of the primary will go on to a general election next month unopposed.