Senate Approves Election Change Legislation

6/9/11 – Two of Wisconsin’s biggest elections would move to different dates under bills passed by the state Senate Wednesday afternoon. The vote was 19-to-13 to move the fall partisan primaries for Congress, state, and county offices from mid-September to the second Tuesday in August. The bill is designed to meet federal deadlines for sending general election ballots to voters overseas. But the bill opponents said the primary needed to be held even earlier to make sure the mailings get done. All Republicans supported the change except Wausau’s Pam Galloway, who didn’t vote. All Democrats voted no except for Janesville’s Tim Cullen, who supported the bill. Also, senators agreed on a voice vote to move the Wisconsin presidential primary back to early April, from the February date where it’s been since 2004. The national parties asked states to move back their primaries and caucuses, because too many were being bunched up early in the year. Senators also agreed on a voice vote to name the cream puff as the state’s official dessert. An Oconomowoc elementary school class suggested the idea. All these measures now go to the Assembly.