2019 Spring Primary Issues Q & A

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There will be no statewide primary election on February 19, 2019. However, many municipalities and school districts may have local primaries on February 19 to narrow down the field of candidates who will be on the April 2, 2019 Spring Election ballot. Commission staff has received several questions about the upcoming primary and provides the following information relating to these common questions. If you have any additional questions or require clarification, do not hesitate to contact the HelpDesk at elections@wi.gov or (608) 261-2028.

WisVote Checklist I for the 2019 Spring Primary Election

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WisVote Checklist I for the February 19, 2019 Partisan Primary is now available. The Checklist contains pre-election tasks.

It is important to note there is not a statewide Spring Primary this year. The steps provided in the checklist are only for those municipalities, counties, or school districts that have a primary. However, all counties and municipalities still need to check the Contests Complete and Candidates Complete checkpoints by no later than January 25, 2019.

72-Hour Filing Extension Deadline Falling on the Weekend

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Elections Commission staff has fielded numerous calls from clerks confronted with an extension of the filing deadline. A 72-hour extension of the filing deadline occurs when an incumbent fails to timely file a Notification of Noncandidacy and subsequently does not file ballot access documents for his or her current position by the filing deadline. Due to the filing deadline being on Wednesday this year rather than Tuesday, which was New Year’s Day, the extension of the filing deadline for candidates other than the incumbent falls on Saturday, January 5.

Statewide Spring Primary Update and Filing Deadline Extensions

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The candidate filing deadline for the 2019 Spring Election was today, January 2, 2019, at 5:00 p.m. Only two candidates filed ballot access paperwork for the only statewide office up for election this Spring, Justice of the State of Wisconsin Supreme Court, meaning there will be no statewide Spring Primary on February 19, 2019. Counties and municipalities may still be conducting primaries on that day if enough candidates for county and local-level offices qualify for ballot access.

Election Related Legislation – 2017 Wisconsin Act 369

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On December 14, 2018, Governor Walker signed 2017 Wisconsin Act 369 (Act 369) into law, which changes several election administration provisions, codifies some election administration practices previously governed by administrative rules or a consent decree with the United State Department of Justice, and creates new administrative requirements for guidance documents issued by state agencies which includes the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC).