The unprecedented nature of the upcoming recall primary elections has led a state board to determine that voting rules will differ from past primaries, allowing voters to vote for both Democrats and Republicans instead of receiving a single party primary ballot. Normal primaries, like the one that will occur on August 14, are considered one election, Government Accountability Board spokesperson Reid Magney said. However, he said because of the upcoming recall election, there will be six primaries, one for governor, one for lieutenant governor and four for the state senators, which are legally separate but held on the same day. Even though the elections are separate, there will only be one ballot, Magney said. Because there is also only one Republican primary election in the case of Gov. Scott Walker running against Madison citizen Arthur Kohl-Riggs, Magney said, those who wish to also participate can vote in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor and the four senators. However, voters will not be able to vote in both the Republican and the Democratic primary for governor, Magney said.
Still, Scot Ross, spokesperson for former Dane County Executive and gubernatorial candidate Kathleen Falk, said crossover voting, in which a person who supports one primary votes in another party’s primary, will not affect the upcoming primary election, despite the unique conditions of these primaries. “It’s never been an issue before, and it won’t be one now,” Ross said.
According to Madison City Clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl, the rules allow different voting rules for absentee ballots that prevent voters from changing their minds. “If you request an absentee ballot and return it to the clerk, you cannot go to the polling place to vote for a different candidate,” Witzel-Behl said.