Fall 2020 Primary Voter Guide

Pre-election To-dos

Absentee Voting

Dane County and the rest of the state may be “open for business”, but COVID is still out there and cases are on the rise. MADSA strongly encourages social distancing by voting early with an absentee ballot.

Key dates

These dates represent deadlines. The earlier you register and get an absentee ballot, the better. City clerks offices mail out absentee ballots on a first-come, first-serve basis. The sooner you request your ballot, the sooner you’ll receive it in the mail!

  • Register to vote online by July 22. If you are not yet registered, you can start that process at My Vote WI
  • Register in-person by August 6. If you miss the July 22 registration deadline, you can still register in-person at your municipal clerk’s office until August 7. We highly recommend against this due to the ongoing pandemic.
  • Request an absentee ballot by August 6. Request your absentee ballot today on My Vote WI. Wisconsin allows no-excuse absentee voting, which means you can request an absentee ballot for any reason whatsoever — as long as the request is made before the deadline of 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 6.
  • Primary election day is August 11. Hopefully, you won’t have to brave the lines in-person, but if you must, this is the day it happens. Same-day voter registration is available in Wisconsin if the registration deadlines were missed.

For more information on registering and absentee voting, Madison residents can refer to the Madison City Clerk’s website. Wisconsin residents outside of Madison can read more from the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

Who is On The Ballot?

Partisan primary

The August election is a partisan primary. You are allowed to vote for primary candidates in only one political party. Near the top of your ballot, you will see an option to select a party preference. While this is optional, it’s highly recommended that you mark your party preference to ensure your ballot isn’t rejected!

Your ballot is completely secret, so no one but you will know which party primary you chose to vote in.

Though running as socialists on the Democratic Party ballot line remains controversial, the Electoral Politics Working Group is operating on the assumption that DSA Madison members will have no interest in supporting candidates in the Republican or Constitution Parties. We will only be providing advice on candidates running for the Democratic Party nomination.

Candidate links below represent website, Facebook and Twitter links found for each candidate. If links are missing, we were not able to find them.

(I) – Current incumbent

Wisconsin State Senate

There are six Wisconsin State Senate districts in Dane County. Two have a contested Democratic Party primary this year, neither of which has an incumbent in the race. Unsure of which Senate district you live in? You can either check it on My Vote WI or by taking a quick glance at this map (PDF)

DSA Endorses Nada Elmikashfi for Wisconsin State Senate, 26th District

Madison-Area DSA is proud to endorse Nada Elmikashfi for the Wisconsin State Senate, district 26. Nada has also received the national endorsement of the Democratic Socialists of America. VOTE NADA!

While most candidates in this race entered only after the 56-year incumbent announced his retirement, Nada entered before, having been inspired by frustrations with Madison’s racial inequalities and the inaction of Madison’s predominantly white left-of-center politicians. Nada is a Sudanese-American who came to Wisconsin when she was a young child. She would be the first Muslim, first immigrant, and the youngest ever-elected senator in Wisconsin. She would also be the first woman to ever represent WI-26.

Nada is a proud member of Madison-area DSA. She has also received endorsements from several local elected officials, as well as notable organizations including The People for Bernie, Sunrise Movement-Madison, Pride in Running, Youth Climate Action Team, and Run for Something.

Nada’s opponents in the race for WI-26 include:

16th Senate District

Wisconsin State Assembly

Dane County covers 13 Wisconsin State Assembly districts. Four of them have a contested Democratic Party primary. Unsure of which district you live in? You can either check it on My Vote WI or by taking a quick glance at this map (PDF)

48th Assembly District

76th Assembly District

78th Assembly District

80th Assembly District

Uncontested races

  • U.S. House of Representatives, Wisconsin 2nd District: Marc Pocan (I)
  • Dane County District Attorney: Ismael Ozanne (I)
  • Dane County Clerk: Scott McDonell (I)
  • Dane County Treasurer: Adam Gallagher (I)
  • Dane County Register of Deeds: Kristi Chlebowski (I)
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