County clerks prepare for special election
After Governor Walker called for a special election to fill two vacant legislative seats for June 12, county clerks in those districts are working to get ready on short notice.
Senate District 1 covering the Door County area and Assembly District 42 covering the Columbia County area are the only two places where special elections will be held.
In Assembly District 42, Sue Moll, the Columbia County Clerk, is preparing for the special election.
"It's busy anyway on a four election year so adding another election, possibly two, it will be busy," Moll said.
She says the time line will look like this: candidates will have to complete campaign forms by April 17. If there is more than one candidate for one party, a primary race will be held on May 15. Following that will be the general special election on June 12.
Moll says her office has been a part of special elections before, including the 2012 Gubernatorial recall election.
"What's different about this one is this contest that will be on this ballot will the be the same contest that will be on a ballot just a couple of months later," Moll said.
She said the time line could be confusing to voters and on short notice absentee ballots will not be sent out as early. She said it's too early to predict what turn out might look like but she said it could be lower than a normal spring election.
"I don't know. Is it going to be a big turn out because it's been in the media a lot or is it going to be, you know, 'we've already got vacation scheduled?'" Moll said.
"These June specials are almost surely going to be low turn out races where enthusiasm will count," Charles Franklin of the Marquette University Law School said.
He said even if voters don't participate, politicians will be closely watching.
"Both parties are going to look at these two races as yet another taking the temperature of voters," Franklin said.
He said the election could be telling of which party could take home more wins in the November election.
"There's certainly no guarantees in politics for how races will occur. It depends on the candidates and the issues that come up," Franklin said.