Why Pay Attention to a Judicial Race in Wisconsin?
“The most important election that nobody’s ever heard of,” is how this year’s election for Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice is being described. The race will deliver a judge who will preside over cases as consequential as abortion rights and redistricting.
Considered by some as the number one controversial issue of the moment, abortion rights would be enough to drive attention to this election. The additional issue of redistricting in this crucial swing state means the next Supreme Court Justice of Wisconsin may find themselves under a very bright spotlight. And more than once.
Spectacularly, the Wisconsin Supreme Court election is deemed so critical that by the end of January ‘23, it had already broken fundraising records for a judicial race in Wisconsin. Millions of dollars have been pledged to pour in with no limits on what candidates can receive or spend. How will these large donations to a judicial race affect turnout and ultimately the outcome?
Two candidates have emerged victorious from the primary election – conservative Judge, Dan Kelly, and liberal Judge Janet Protasiewicz. Kelly and Protasiewicz will face off on April 4, 2023 to fill the seat of retiring Judge Patience Roggensack (a conservative). With a current 4-3 conservative majority, Roggensack’s departure has opened the door for either a liberal judge to shift the ideological balance or another conservative judge to maintain their influence.
*UPDATE* (Mar 27, 2023): Early voting has begun in WI and voters with disabilities are reporting that election officials are not following the law allowing disabled voters to receive assistance when returning their absentee ballots. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 granted voters with disabilities the right to receive assistance from a person of the their choice. So, if you are affected, know your rights and be sure to cast your ballot!
For more information on your rights as a disabled voter, check out our state-specific Disability Voting Guide!
Wisconsin voters, US Vote has the following resources to make voting for your next Supreme Court Justice as simple as possible!
- Comprehensive Voting Guide with details on each candidate (developed and offered courtesy of guides.vote)
- Wisconsin Voting Information – general information, dates/deadlines, eligibility requirements, ID requirements
- Check your Voter Registration Status
- Election Dates & Deadlines – deadlines for federal, state, and local elections
- Voter Registration – register to vote or request an absentee ballot
- Election Official Directory – contact your election official with any questions
- US Vote Help Desk – reach out to us with any voting questions at any time!
 “The most important election nobody’s ever heard of,” available at https://www.politico.com/news/2023/01/16/wisconsin-state-supreme-court-…
 “2023’s Biggest, Most Unusual Race Centers on Abortion and Democracy,” available at https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/25/us/politics/wisconsin-supreme-court-…