Citing frustrated voters, Senator Carpenter calls for change in election law to allow
voters to “split” primary ballot votes
Madison - State Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) today introduced a bill to change the election laws to allow voters the chance to pick the best candidate for an office in a primary election, regardless of which political party the candidate belongs to.
“Right now, a voter in a partisan primary election may cast a ballot in the column of only one major political party. Many of my constituents tell me that they are frustrated because they want to vote for the person, not the party. They would like to choose the best candidate for the office in a primary – regardless of party – just as they do on a general election ballot,” said Carpenter.
Under the bill, a voter may still vote for only one candidate for each office.
Senator Carpenter also noted that one of the consequences of the last redistricting of legislative boundaries has been to dramatically reduce the number of competitive seats. “This appears to make the primary more important than the general election as the party affiliation of the winning candidate is almost a foregone conclusion,” said Carpenter.
“Voters should not be disenfranchised from voting for the best candidate in a primary just because they believe candidates from different parties would best represent them for different elective offices,” said Carpenter.
Companion legislation in the Assembly will be introduced by Rep. Robb Kahl.
“I will continue to fight to make sure the voters can select the candidate they wish to support in both primary and general elections,” said Carpenter.