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Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

Wisconsin's Partisan Primary Election History

During the Tuesday August 12, 2014, election voters could vote in one political party’s primary.  Unlike general elections, voters could not vote for a republican candidate and a democrat candidate.  

Wisconsin adopted the open primary for partisan offices, except for president of the United States, through a statewide binding referendum vote during November 1904.  During 1905, the open primary was extended to the presidential preference primary with delegates to the national party conventions selecting presidential candidates. 

The 2013-14 State of Wisconsin Blue Book includes the following explanation about Wisconsin’s August Partisan Primary. 

The purpose of the partisan primary is to select a party’s nominees for the general election in November. In a partisan primary, the voter may vote on the ballot of only one political party (unlike the general election where it is possible to select any party’s candidate for a particular office). Some voters express frustration that their choices are limited because they are not permitted to vote for candidates of more than one party. It is important to remember that the primary is a nominating device for the political parties; its purpose is to nominate the candidates that one political party will support against the nominees of the other parties in the general election.

Most states have a closed primary system that requires voters to publicly declare their party affiliation before they can receive the primary ballot of that party. Wisconsin’s “open primary” law does not require voters to make a public declaration of their party preference. Instead, the voter is given the primary ballots of all parties but, once inside the voting booth, may cast only one party’s ballot.

Candidates must appear on the partisan primary ballot, even if unopposed, in order to be nominated by their respective parties. The candidate receiving the largest number of party votes for an office becomes the party’s nominee in the November election. (In the case of a special election, which is held at a time other than the general election to fill a vacated partisan office, a primary is not held if there is no more than one candidate for a party’s nomination.)

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