Q&A: Small turnout expected for primary election Tuesday
JANESVILLE Primary election day is Tuesday. It's important, not that you will be able to tell by the turnout.
Voters will begin the process to choose a justice for the state Supreme Court, but turnout in Rock County will likely be less than 10 percent of eligible voters, County Clerk Lori Stottler said.
Stottler expects a 6 to 7 percent turnout, and only that much because of a primary in the Janesville School Board race.
Stottler speculates the voting public is exhausted from 2012's numerous elections, but she said a Supreme Court race is a big deal.
The Supreme Court primary is the one race on all ballots statewide. Voters will eliminate one of three candidates for the 10-year term.
Law professor Ed Fallone and consumer lawyer Vince Megna are challenging incumbent Pat Roggensack in the officially nonpartisan race. It's clear, however, that Roggensack is the conservatives' choice, while Fallone and Megna lean to the liberal side.
A key issue has been civility—or lack of it—among the justices, with a background of liberal-versus-conservative rancor.
Those interested in voting Tuesday might have these questions:
Q: When can I vote?
A: Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. statewide.
Q: What else is on the ballot?
A: If you live in the Janesville School District, you will be able to vote for three of the seven school board candidates. Six will move on to the April election.
School board incumbents Peter D. Severson, Kristin Hesselbacher, Karl Dommershausen are trying to retain their seats for another three years. Four challengers are trying to unseat them: Cathy Myers, JT Lichtfuss, Diane Eyers and Fredrick Jackson.
Also, these primaries will be decided:
-- Beloit Town Board chairman—Voters will narrow the field from four to two. The former town chairman moved out of state last year. The seat has been open since then. Running are Tim Guenther, Jim Olson, Jim Stevens and Phil Taber
-- Delavan City Council District 2—The candidates are Ron Grair, Samuel Riggs III and Christopher Phillips.
The Gazette has run previews of these races in recent days, which can be found online at gazettextra.com.
Q: Where can I get information about where I vote or my registration status?
A: Online, go to myvote.wi.gov. Or contact your local municipal clerk's office or county clerk's office. The Rock County Clerk's Office is at 608-757-5660. The Walworth County Clerk's Office is at 262-741-4241.
Q: Who are the Democrats in these races? Who are the Republicans?
A: These are nonpartisan elections. Candidates do not have to declare party affiliations. Voters must examine the news stories, endorsements and any other background they can find to make their decisions.
Q: Do I need a photo ID to vote?
A: No. That law is still being challenged in the courts. But as always, you will need to identify yourself if you need to register to vote at the polls. For more about registering at the polls, call your municipal clerk or go online to gab.wi.gov/elections-voting/voters/registration-voting.
Speaking of photo ID, some say the constitutionality of requiring a photo ID to vote could hinge on the results of the Supreme Court race.