Voters will help cap the 2016 fall election season next Tuesday when they head to the polls for the presidential election and other state and local races.
Jackson County doesn’t have any contested county office races, but local voters will cast their ballots in the presidential, U.S. Senate and congressional races on Nov. 8.
Parts of the county also will weigh in on contested state Senate and Assembly races and Melrose-Mindoro School District and Osseo Fire District referenda.
Jackson County Clerk Kyle Deno said she expects strong turnout because of the combination of national election and local items on the ballot.
“Being a presidential election, I do believe we will have an excellent voter turnout,” she said. “I’m certainly optimistic that we’ll have an excellent voter turnout. We’re seeing a lot of absentee voting – people are taking advantage of the opportunity to vote early with absentee voting, which is a positive for voters.
“The positive is that they don’t have to stand in line.”
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wisconsin’s voter ID law is in effect and applies to this election. Acceptable forms include driver’s licenses, an ID card, passport, tribal ID or military-related card.
“In Jackson County, people are very accustomed to it,” Deno said of the law. “The polling places haven’t had any issue with people not providing the appropriate ID card to look at.”
The presidential and vice presidential election sits atop the list of races and pits Republicans Donald J. Trump and Michael R. Pence against Democrats Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.
The other president and VP tickets include Darrell L. Castle and Scott N. Bradley for the Constitution Party, Gary Johnson and Bill Weld for the Libertarian Party, Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka for the Green Party, Monica Moorehead and Lamont Lilly for the Workers World Party and Rocky Roque De La Fuente and Michael Steinberg for the American Delta Party.
Republican Ron Johnson and Democrat Russ Feingold are set for a rematch for one of Wisconsin’s two U.S. Senate seats. Also on the ballot is Libertarian Phillip N. Anderson.
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The 7th Congressional District race will be on the ballot in Jackson County, with residents in five northeastern towns and part of another town casting their ballots. The race has incumbent Republican Sean Duffy taking on Democratic challenger Mary Hoeft.
Voters in seven towns in the eastern portion of Jackson County will weigh in on the 24th state Senate and 70th Assembly District races. Incumbent Democratic state Sen. Julie Lassa is being challenged by Republican challenger Patrick Testin. Incumbent Republican Rep. Nancy VanderMeer will look to fend off a challenge by Democrat Mark Holbrook.
Voters in the towns of Cleveland and Garfield will help decide the race for Wisconsin’s 68th Assembly District, where incumbent Republican Kathy Bernier is taking on Democratic challenger Howard White.
Residents in the other portions of the county will cast votes in the 92nd Assembly race between incumbent Democrat Chris Danou and a challenger in Republican Treig E. Pronschinske.
Town of Garfield voters will help the Osseo Fire District decide whether it should build a new fire hall with an advisory referendum.
Melrose-Mindoro School District voters will weigh in on a $24.7 million referendum question on whether or not to build a united campus at the high school site south of Melrose.
“When you have referendums that deal with certain things, you do have a lot of people there,” Deno said. “It’s local, besides the presidential election. Local things bring people out.”
Three county offices are up for re-election, but they all will by uncontested by Democrats. Deno is seeking another term for clerk, Shari Marg is running for another term as register of deeds and Jo Anne Forsting-Leonard is running for re-election to the treasurer position.
District Attorney Gerald Fox also will run again unopposed as a Democrat.
For previews of contested races, see B2-B4 of this week’s Chronicle.
By Cassandra Colson – Reporter