The Wisconsin legislature is currently considering SB 116, a bill with the major purpose of moving the primary (for office other than President) from the first Tuesday in September to the first Tuesday in August. Unfortunately, the bill also moves the petition deadline for a new party from June 1 to April 1. And the bill does not relax the current requirement that makes it illegal to circulate this petition in an odd year. Therefore, if the bill passes in its current form, the petition for circulating this petition would shrink from five months to three months. Furthermore, that petitioning period would be almost entirely in winter, when weather can inhibit petitioning.
The bill has passed the Senate, but has been amended in the Assembly. The Assembly will probably pass it next week and then it returns to the Senate for another vote.
Selected comments from Ballot Access News on this article:
Andy: Wow, so this means that all of the petition signature gathering would have to be done in freezing cold weather between January 1st and April 1st, and it gets really freaking cold in Wisconsin. This is an obvious attempt to make it more difficult to get on the ballot in Wisconsin.
How about this? Since these Wisconsin legislators are so eager for people to conduct petition drives during freezing cold weather, how about make the legislature have their legislative sessions outside in the cold during the same time period?
Richard Winger: I have e-mailed the Wisconsin Election Board about the flaw in SB 116 (the name of the Wisconsin Elections Board is a weird name that is actually the Government Accountability Board). I don’t know if they will pay any attention.
If anyone reading this lives in Wisconsin, I hope he or she will contact a state legislator.