MADISON, WI – While many people are focused on upcoming recall elections, the Government Accountability Board is ready for the November 2012 General Election. Sunday, April 15 is the first day for candidates and their supporters to circulate nomination petitions, marking the official start of the Fall 2012 campaign season.
This year, Wisconsin has moved its Partisan Primary Election date up one month to August 14 to give military and overseas voters more time to cast their ballots, said Kevin J. Kennedy, director and general counsel of the G.A.B. That change affected the time period for circulating nomination papers, which are now due June 1, 2012.
“Our agency is here to help candidates understand how to get on the ballot,” Kennedy said. “We are also available to help candidates understand the rules, which ensure that Wisconsin has some of this country’s most transparent, trustworthy elections.”
State offices up for election this fall are the 16 even-numbered State Senate seats, all 99 State Assembly seats, and all District Attorneys. Federal offices include the President and Vice President, one United States Senator, and all eight Representatives in Congress. A list of the offices and incumbents is available: http://gab.wi.gov/elections-voting/2012/fall/offices-to-be-elected.
Legislative and Congressional candidates will be running in the new districts drawn following the 2010 census. Legislative district maps are available from the Legislature: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/ltsb/redistricting/districts.htm. Two challenged Assembly districts (8 and 9) were recently approved by the courts, and may not be immediately available on the website.
The first step for state candidates – if they have not already done so – is to register with the G.A.B. “Candidates must register their committees as soon as they form the intent to run for office,” said Jonathan Becker, the Ethics & Accountability Division administrator. “Our web-based Campaign Finance Information System (cfis.wi.gov) allows candidates to register and report online, reducing paperwork and ensuring quick public access to the information.” A list of all candidates who have registered will be posted soon to the G.A.B. website.
Federal candidates must register with and report campaign finance information to the Federal Election Commission, www.fec.gov.
Nomination papers and declaration of candidacy forms are all available online. “Candidates can download all the necessary forms from our website,” said Nat Robinson, Elections Division administrator. “If candidates have questions, they should call our Help Desk at (608) 261-2028 to speak with an elections specialist.”
The deadline for candidates to file their nomination papers and declarations of candidacy is 5 p.m. Friday, June 1. By 4:30 p.m. Monday, June 4, all candidates for state office also must file a Statement of Economic Interests with the Government Accountability Board.
Reid Magney, public information officer, 608-267-7887
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