MADISON, WI – A bipartisan nominating committee will decide in January which presidential candidates to put on the ballot for Wisconsin’s Presidential Preference Vote on April 7.
At 11 a.m. on Tuesday, January 7, 2020, the committee comprised of Democratic and Republican Party representatives will meet in the Governor’s Conference Room in the State Capitol. Its job is to place on the ballot the names of all candidates whose candidacy is generally advocated or recognized in the national news media. Any candidate not placed on the ballot by the nominating committee can also get on the ballot by collecting a minimum of 8,000 signatures by January 28.
Both major political parties have notified the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) they intend to participate in the Presidential Preference Vote. Unlike other states where major party presidential candidates must file paperwork and sometimes signatures to get on the ballot, Wisconsin law puts the process in the hands of a state nominating committee. The committee’s responsibility is to place on the ballot the names of all candidates whose candidacy “is generally advocated or recognized in the national news media throughout the United States.” Also, the committee may, “place the names of other candidates on the ballot. The committee shall have sole discretion to determine that a candidacy is generally advocated or recognized in the national news media throughout the United States.” Wis. Stat. § 8.12(1)(b)
In 2020, the nominating committee will include the chairpersons and one national committeeman and one national committeewoman of the Democratic and Republican Parties, the President and Minority Leader of the State Senate, and the Speaker and Minority Leader of the State Assembly, or the designees of these officials. The nominating committee will select one additional member to serve as the committee’s chairperson.
In addition to names submitted by the party representatives, the WEC will provide the nominating committee with a list of candidates for consideration who have contacted the agency or who have registered with the Federal Election Commission. Following the committee’s certification of the slate of candidates, the WEC will notify each nominee. Nominees have until January 28 to file a disclaimer stating that they do not intend to become a candidate for President at the 2020 general election.
Any Democratic or Republican presidential candidate who was not selected by the committee may petition the WEC to appear on the Presidential Preference ballot. Candidates or committees working on their behalf must collect at least 8,000 signatures (1,000 from each of Wisconsin’s eight congressional districts) between January 7 and 28.
Independent candidates for president have a separate process for getting on the ballot, which includes gathering at least 2,000 signatures between July 1 and August 4, 2020.
For more details about Wisconsin’s process for presidential candidates, please visit the WEC website: https://elections.wi.gov/node/3397.
Wisconsin’s Presidential Preference Vote coincides with the nonpartisan Spring Election to be held on April 7, 2020.
For more information, contact
Reid Magney, Public Information Officer, 608-267-7887, [email protected].