Fall 2020 Primary Voter Guide

Pre-election To-dos

Absentee Voting

Dane County and the rest of the state may be “open for business”, but COVID is still out there and cases are on the rise. MADSA hopes that you had the chance to social distance and vote early, and strongly encourages doing the same next November by voting early with an absentee ballot. If you haven’t voted yet, our guide will help you make your voice heard as safely as possible.

Don’t mail absentee ballots!

Primary election day is August 11. Wisconsin boasts same-day voter registration, so even if you haven’t had the time to do anything election-related yet, you can still vote at your assigned polling place. Everyone needs to bring a voter ID, and anyone who thinks they might need to register should bring proof–of-residence, like a lease or a utility bill. Don’t forget your favorite face mask!

Some of you may have already requested an absentee ballot that’s now sitting on your kitchen table. Madison-Area DSA strongly recommends against sending your filled-in ballot through the mail! With only a day or two before the election, it’s almost impossible it will be received by the city on time to be counted. Instead, plan to drop your absentee ballot off at your assigned polling place on election day. You can find your polling place at My Vote WI.

For more information on registering and absentee voting, Madison residents can refer to the Madison City Clerk’s website. Wisconsin residents outside of Madison can read more from the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

Who is On The Ballot?

Partisan primary

The August election is a partisan primary. You are allowed to vote for primary candidates in only one political party. Near the top of your ballot, you will see an option to select a party preference. While this is optional, it’s highly recommended that you mark your party preference to ensure your ballot isn’t rejected!

Your ballot is completely secret, so no one but you will know which party primary you chose to vote in.

Though running as socialists on the Democratic Party ballot line remains controversial, the Electoral Politics Working Group is operating on the assumption that DSA Madison members will have no interest in supporting candidates in the Republican or Constitution Parties. We will only be providing advice on candidates running for the Democratic Party nomination.

Candidate links below represent website, Facebook and Twitter links found for each candidate. If links are missing, we were not able to find them.

(I) – Current incumbent

Wisconsin State Senate

There are six Wisconsin State Senate districts in Dane County. Two have a contested Democratic Party primary this year, neither of which has an incumbent in the race. Unsure of which Senate district you live in? You can either check it on My Vote WI or by taking a quick glance at this map (PDF)

DSA Endorses Nada Elmikashfi for Wisconsin State Senate, 26th District

Madison-Area DSA and the Democratic Socialists of America are proud to endorse Nada Elmikashfi for the Wisconsin State Senate, district 26. The national endorsement has brought Nada’s campaign into the national spotlight. VOTE NADA!

While most candidates in this race entered only after the 56-year incumbent announced his retirement, Nada entered before, having been inspired by frustrations with Madison’s racial inequalities and the inaction of Madison’s predominantly white left-of-center politicians. Nada is a Sudanese-American who came to Wisconsin when she was a young child. She would be the first Muslim, first immigrant, and the youngest ever-elected senator in Wisconsin. She would also be the first woman to ever represent WI-26.

Nada is a proud member of Madison-area DSA. She has also received endorsements from several local elected officials, as well as notable organizations including The People for Bernie, Sunrise Movement-Madison, Pride in Running, Youth Climate Action Team, and Run for Something.

Nada has received an impressive slate of endorsements. Check them out!

Nada’s opponents in the race for WI-26 include:

16th Senate District

Wisconsin State Assembly

Dane County covers 13 Wisconsin State Assembly districts. Four of them have a contested Democratic Party primary. Unsure of which district you live in? You can either check it on My Vote WI or by taking a quick glance at this map (PDF)

48th Assembly District

76th Assembly District

78th Assembly District

80th Assembly District

Uncontested races

  • U.S. House of Representatives, Wisconsin 2nd District: Marc Pocan (I)
  • Dane County District Attorney: Ismael Ozanne (I)
  • Dane County Clerk: Scott McDonell (I)
  • Dane County Treasurer: Adam Gallagher (I)
  • Dane County Register of Deeds: Kristi Chlebowski (I)