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It is Time for Split Ticket Primaries

(MADISON)—Today, Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) issued the following statement in anticipation of the upcoming primary elections:

“Election time is just three weeks away, and on August 9, voters will again be forced to vote for one party or the other.

“But the truth is voters want to vote for the person. Not the party.

“I introduced Senate Bill 1006 to allow voters to do just that: it would have given voters the right to choose one candidate per race from any party. Republicans senators referred the bill to committee and once again failed to schedule a public hearing, leaving in place an unfair system which will continue to confuse voters in all parts of the state.

“On August 9, many voters across the state will be prohibited from choosing their preferred candidate for United States Senate if they vote for a Republican candidate for governor, or vice versa. In the worst case scenario, their ballots get thrown out entirely because they reasonably assumed they could vote for a Democrat for one office and a Republican for another. Some voters prefer independent candidates. If voters were able to vote for the person rather than the party, more independents might decide to run, cooling off the vicious partisanship we see today.

“It’s too bad we couldn’t have this discussion before Republican legislative leaders closed up early for the year. By failing to consider my bill, Republicans are allowing this unfair, confusing system to persist. I can guess only one reason why Republicans avoided voting on my bill. Voter confusion has been their strategy, and leaving in place single party primaries seems like one of the tactics.”