Wisconsin’s primary elections took place on Tuesday, April 5. As exhibited by the long queues that formed at Alexander Gymnasium, Ward 8’s polling location, Lawrence students had a large turnout. Elections for the positions of Appleton’s mayor and District 4 alderman, respectively, were held on the same day.
In the local mayoral elections, incumbent mayor Tim Hanna won with 15,518 votes, whilst his opponent, Josh Dukelow ‘02 received 8,833 votes. This will be Hanna’s sixth term as Appleton’s mayor.
In the District elections, Joe Martin won the position of alderperson with 837 votes in his favor, and his opponent, David Goetz, received 506 votes.
Also, with 52 percent of the votes, incumbent Justice Rebecca Bradley secured her position on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Lawrence University junior Erin McLaughlin was “very disappointed that [JoAnne] Kloppenburg did not win [the position of Supreme Court Justice] because her opponent’s political views do not align with [her] own, or [those of] many of [her] peers at Lawrence.”
In the primary election, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz was awarded 36 delegates with 48.2 percent of the votes, followed by Donald Trump, who was awarded six delegates with 35.1 percent of the votes. In the third place, John Kasich received 14.1 percent of the votes and was not awarded any delegates. Erin McLaughlin had predicted that Cruz would be the winner, but was concerned that due to the high turnout at Trump’s rally, the latter’s momentum would affect the voters.
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders won 48 delegates with 56.6 percent of the vote, whilst his opponent, Hillary Clinton, won 38 delegates with 43.1 percent of the vote. Overall, Sanders won the greatest number of votes. Senior and member of Lawrentians for Bernie Sarah Bonoff was pleased with the candidate’s win and also with the high turnout of Lawrence voters.
However, LU College Democrats President Justin Lenz stated that the “issue was the lack of knowledge down the ballot,” and that even though LU College Democrats made an effort to spread information, many students focused solely on the primary election. According to Lenz, College Democrats’ goal is to educate the public on the local elections, given that their respective results often have the greatest impact on Lawrence’s student body.
Bonoff later stated that, in general, Wisconsin’s voter turnout was the highest it has been in years. Members of College Democrats echo this statement and were very pleased that the efforts of the voter ID proved successful, especially in light of recent voter ID laws designed to be prohibitive, which are especially targeted at people from out-of-state, like many Lawrentians.