County clerks unanimously oppose moving 2020 presidential primary

Published: Dec. 3, 2018 at 3:41 PM CST
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Municipal and county clerks around the state are opposed to the possibility of


The Wisconsin Elections Commission estimates moving the election would cost at least $7 million statewide.

"That would create a February primary spring election, a March presidential preference election, and a spring general election all within a six-week time span," said Brown County Clerk Sandy Juno.

A Wisconsin Elections Commission meeting held on Monday morning revealed that none of the 72 county clerks in the state supports the move.

"It's not one like a recall where the electors decide if they want to have a special election to recall someone," said Juno. "This would merely be adding on a special election to satisfy possibly one group or organization."

"We've never been presented with a bill like this where we have an opportunity -- and I think a responsibility -- to weigh in on how to run good elections," said Mark Thomsen, member of the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

Juno says the $7 million cost is money Wisconsin counties and municipalities do not have. The additional election would be a burden on budgets she says are already too tight.

"Even if the legislature did agree to fund a special election, that will still put us in a difficult position just to have the resources," said Juno. "Meaning people to work these elections, the equipment because of the time overlaps. We'd probably have to purchase some additional equipment in order to even do this."

Clerks from around the state made their way to Madison on Monday to share their thoughts on the bill in a public hearing.

"There's statutorily so many things that you have to take into consideration, and it just doesn't make sense," said Juno.