La Crosse County spring election to have 19 contested races

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT)- This year’s election is no different than years past, but there are 19 contested county supervisor races.

The La Crosse County Clerk says that there are usually only 6 or 7.

Spring elections may not be the most popular among voters, but they do have some of the biggest impact.

“The taxes we pay, our quality of life, our public safety, our educational system, the potholes if they get fixed, the construction that happens, there are so many ways that local government has a direct impact on our quality of life,” said UWL Assistant Political Science Professor, Anthony Chergosky.

Only about 20% of registered voters participate in the spring elections, a number that leaves experts puzzled.

“They get very little attention, they get low voter turnout, they don’t draw a lot of attention during the campaign, so it’s a little bit of a puzzle, the elections that have the biggest effect on our day to day lives get the least attention,” said Chergosky.

The La Crosse County Clerk, Ginny Dankmeyer says the high number of contested races means people are wanting change.

“The people want to see the change that’s when you take out the papers and run for these offices so you get elected and then you can be a part of the people who make decisions that affect your everyday life,” said Dankmeyer.

Voters will also elect school board members this spring.

Over the last year, school boards nationwide have been tasked with navigating COVID-19 and masking policies, but it’s important to remember school boards do more than just navigate through a pandemic.

“There’s a lot more to school board policy than masks and covid-19, those are extremely important, but those are hardly the only things that school districts deal with,” said Chergosky.

With so many contested races and hot topics, Dinkmeyer is hoping that the voter turnout will be well above average.

“With more contested races I’m hoping we’ll see a 25-30% turnout. Will we see that number? Maybe not, but I’m hoping that more contested races bring a lot more voters and we’ll have a higher turnout,” said Dankmeyer.

The spring primary will happen on February 15th and will include three races.

The La Crosse County Supervisor for District 7 will narrow it down to two candidates.

The La Crosse School District’s school board will look to narrow from 8 candidates to 6 candidates.

The Westby Area School District will hold a primary for their 7th seat.

After the primary, the general spring election will happen on April 5th.

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