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League of Women Voters joins chorus of state voices saying no to presidential primary shift



Some may see a plan to change the date of Wisconsin’s 2020 presidential primary as a desperate and craven attempt to cling to power by Republican state lawmakers.

The state’s League of Women Voters, however, isn’t there yet.

Instead, the League looks at the idea as simply creating confusion with three elections in three months that could possibly limit voter turnout, says executive director Erin Grunze.

“It would seem that, with less people paying attention, that maybe less people are motivated to vote,” Grunze said.

A presidential primary moved to from April to March would mean three state elections would likely happen in February, March and April and cost millions for taxpayers.

State municipal clerks say the Republican plan to move the presidential primary would create so many headaches it would be impossible to implement.

“The concern, from our perspective, is that the cost are also something that is very concerning,” Grunze said. “To hold another election during that time, when it’s not necessary.

“They’re claiming that it would avoid confusion, but the clerks and others, such as our group, believe that it will create more confusion.”

Clerks also say it would be confusing to process absentee ballots for both elections, as well as that February state primary. On top of that, they warn of expenses involved with hiring additional poll workers and purchasing extra equipment.

A big Democratic turnout is predicted, which could mean a challenge for state Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly getting reelected.

With no change, that state Supreme Court primary, as well as local office elections would be held in February while the general election for those offices, as well as the presidential primary would take place in April.

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