2018 | Week of February 5 | #1241
It’s 2018, which means it’s a big election year in Wisconsin—and it starts in just two weeks.
On Tuesday, February 20, we have a primary election to settle who will be on the ballot for the spring general election on Tuesday, April 3. Our spring elections include races for mayors, city councils, village and town boards, county boards, school boards, and sometimes state-level offices. This year, we have a statewide race for a 10-year term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Because it is a statewide office, that means every ballot in the state will have at least this race on it—which means every eligible voter in the state can and should vote in this election.
In addition to this supreme court primary, you may have a local race on your ballot. You need to find out. You can do that easily by going to myvote.wi.gov. Click on the icon labeled “What’s on my ballot” and put in your home address. Don’t assume; check it out!
If you don’t have internet access, call your municipal clerk or call us at 888-378-7395, 888-378-7395, and we can get you the ballot information.
The Tuesday, April 3 spring general election will have all the local races and the final WI Supreme Court race between the top 2 votegetters from the primary. Then, on Tuesday, August 14 we have the fall partisan primary, preparing for the Fall General Election on Tuesday, November 6.
In Wisconsin this fall, all 99 assembly seats will be up for election, as will half of our state senate—the odd-numbered senate districts. We will also vote on all 8 of our Congressional districts, and one of our US Senate seats will be on the ballot—this year current US Senator Democrat Tammy Baldwin is up for re-election. We also will be electing a governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.
Per state law, each city, village and town is responsible for setting its own dates and hours for in-person absentee voting. You’ll need to contact your municipal clerk if you want to vote early in-person.
The one race on everyone’s February 20 ballot is for a ten-year term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Current justice Mike Gableman is not running for a second term, resulting in an open seat. Gableman, according to court observers, is part of the current 5-justice conservative majority on the court.
Three Supreme Court candidates will be on your February 20th ballot: Rebecca Dallet, Michael Screnock and Tim Burns. Rebecca Dallet is currently a Milwaukee County Circuit Court judge. She’s been on the bench since 2008; prior to that she worked as an attorney. Michael Screnock currently serves as a judge on the Sauk County Circuit Court. He was appointed by Governor Walker to that position in 2015 and won an election to that seat in 2016. Tim Burns is a partner in a Madison lawfirm. He has never been a judge.
Interestingly, these candidates have been willing to answer questions that judicial candidates in previous races have been reluctant to answer. For instance, a media outlet asked the candidates to identify the US Supreme Court justice and the Wisconsin Supreme Court justice they most admire. All 3 candidates responded.
Rebecca Dallet said she most admires Sandra Day O’Connor, a former US Supreme Court justice appointed by Ronald Reagan that most conservatives ultimately were disappointed in. Dallet said the WI supreme court justice she most admires is Ann Walsh-Bradley. Mike Screnock said the US Supreme Court justice he most admires is the late Antonin Scalia, seen by most court observers as a conservative jurist. And the WI supreme Court justice he most admires is Jon Wilcox, a former justice, who court watchers categorize as a conservative justice. Tim Burns said the US Supreme Court justice he most admires is Thurgood Marshall. Marshall was a pillar of the civil rights movement and once wrote that he believed the Constitution was a living document. Burns said the WI supreme court justice he most admires is Shirley Abrahamson, who is well known across the country as a judicial liberal.
Wisconsin Family Council has an educational voter information publication for this Supreme Court race. It’s available at wifamilycouncil.org. We urge you to get this information and use it and share it, as you prepare to vote knowledgeably and responsibly in the Spring Primary. Remember, your vote is one of the main ways you can directly voice your values in our Republic.
For Wisconsin Family Council, this is Julaine Appling reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”