Low turn out could impact fall primary

Low turn out could impact fall primary

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - On Tuesday, voters in both Minnesota and Wisconsin will head to the polls to decide which candidates will be on the November ballot.

The primary is not expected to bring in record crowds in either state, but those involved say this is important.

In Wisconsin, the Government Accountability Board predicts only a 15 percent voter turnout next week, which is actually average for a primary election in La Crosse.

Minnesota and Wisconsin have a partisan election, meaning voters only check the box for candidates in one political party. Whether you lean to the left, to the right or try and stay in the middle, if you want to vote for someone in November, the candidate needs voter support in August.

The road to winning an election really begins with the primary.

"It's narrowing the field down," city clerk for La Crosse Teri Lehrke said.

No matter what the race, a candidate must win his or her party's primary election before voters will see that candidate's name on the ballot come November.

"For the public, they are really narrowing down the choices, picking the best candidates so we have better contests in November," political scientist Joe Heim said.

"A primary for me was all about making sure that all Minnesotans had their voice and let them have their choice on Election Day to vote for their candidate, not to vote against anybody else," Minnesota candidate for governor Kurt Zellers said.

New federal law has forced states to hold primary elections in August, which Heim said isn't ideal for voters or candidates.

"It used to be in September, so people would tend to start looking at it at the beginning of September; school days and all that. Now in the summer, people don't pay much attention to campaigns and elections," Heim said.

Heim says even though not many are expected to cast a vote, picking the right candidate in a primary race is extremely important.

"If it's a strong Democrat or strong Republican area, whoever wins the primary is going to win in November," Heim said.

A couple things to remember when you are heading out to the vote next week: If you still need to register, bring with you a proof of residency, like a utility bill, driver's license or lease.

Voters do not need a photo ID to vote.

If you would like to see a sample ballot, find your polling location or see if you're registered to vote:

Click here for Minnesota voters

Click here for Wisconsin voters

Top Videos

Latest News

This Week's Circulars