If you haven't checked your mail in awhile or watched any television, you might not realize there's a midterm election coming up. But chances are the political ads have you informed to some extent. Did you know historically that about 40% of those eligible to vote actually do so in a midterm election year?
If you wondered about the election this year, or the candidates, or just don't feel like you know enough to vote, we've got you covered!
SHRM makes this really easy with a lookup tool they've built here. Simply search by your zip code and you'll get a complete list of those running for both state and federal offices. Some zip codes might cross multiple districts, so if you want to know exactly what will appear on your ballot, try this lookup tool from Ballotpedia, which searches based on your actual home address.
This year, everyone in the state of Wisconsin will be voting for the one of our federal Senate seats. Currently that seat is filled by Tammy Baldwin (D). Her seat is being challenged by Leah Vukmir (R). In addition, everyone in Wisconsin will be voting for the state Governor, which is currently filled by Scott Walker (R). He is being challenged by Tony Evers (D), Phillip Anderson (L), and Michael White (G).
Your House Representative must run for re-election every 2 years, so you'll also see that name on your ballot. For example, if you live in the 8th Congressional District (Appleton & Green Bay area), the current incumbent, Mike Gallagher (R), is running against Beau Lieugeois (D). For those in the 6th Congressional District (south of Appleton, including Neenah), you'll see Glenn Grothman (R) try to keep his seat from challenger Dan Kohl (D).
Within the state, half of the state Senate is up for election, so you may or may not have to vote for your state Senator. All members of the Wisconsin Assembly are up for vote every 2 years, so you'll be voting on your Assembly member this year as well. You can find those candidates specific to your address based on either the SHRM or Ballotpedia lookup tools, linked above.
Great, so we know who's running. But how do you choose? Well, this does require a little bit of work. 'There's several fantastic tools available from VoteSmart.org. That organization is non-partisan and does not accept donations from corporations, politicians, or government, so it's truly non-partisan. You can type in the name of any candidate running mentioned above and find everything from their bio, to their actual voting record (if applicable), to who is funding that politician, to what positions they take on important issues.
You must be registered to vote in Wisconsin. The deadline to register in advance is already passed, but luckily, you can register at the poll on the day of the election (November 6). You will need to bring proof of your current residence though in order to complete registration. See a complete list on the 2nd page of this application.
You can check here if you are already registered to vote.
If you want to vote in advance of November 6, you can learn more about absentee voting here.
To find your polling place, you can check out this link from Wisconsin. Make sure you bring a photo ID to vote.
See you November 6th!