Why does your voting matter: Wisconsin
October 19, 2018, 7:43 am by Sam Wang
As elections approach, I will write a few short essays on why voting in particular states is important. Usually at the PEC we focus on House and Senate races. But there are many important state and local races. They are collected at PEC Key Races page.
Let’s start with Wisconsin. Wisconsin has voter registration on the same day, so there is a lot that activists can do to influence the election there. And this year, Wisconsin is particularly important.
First, as many PEC readers know, I’ve become quite focused on regional redistricting. In a close proximity, the holder of a limited pen can swing as much as half of the state’s counties at his political party. So no matter how much we defend our voting rights, it’s all for nothing if we don’t make the redistribution fairer.
The exception is statewide races. They cannot be gerrymandered. And anyone who wins statewide races in 2018 will be present at the 2020 election, Census and redistricting. Turns out, Wisconsin has a very competitive governing race. Former State Director of Education Tony Evers (D) is running a highly competitive race with incumbent Governor Scott Walker (R). Walker was a polarizing figure, and completely changed the landscape in Wisconsin, weakening unions and often implementing a scorching strategy. And the Wisconsin Congress was heavily criticized for supporting the Republican party. If Evers wins, that would ensure that both sides will be at the table when the time of redistribution is in 2021 – and almost certainly makes Wisconsin a state of competition for both sides in the future.
Also, the race for the state Attorney General seems competitive. Two seats held by the GOP and one open seat (SD17, SD19 & SD5) for the State Senate can determine the party’s control over that room. The SD1 was suddenly chosen by the Democrats in a special election and is currently under protection.
Finally, there is a district close to Home: Paul Ryan’s old district, WI-01, where construction worker Randy Bryce (D) is up against Bryan Stein (R).
Overall, I want to say there is a lot for fashionista excited about November!