Wisconsin's party chairs on early voting in 2024 elections

Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Ben Wikler and Republican Party of Wisconsin Chair Brian Schimming discuss their perspectives on voters casting absentee ballots in advance of Election Day in 2024.

By Steven Potter | Here & Now

January 23, 2024

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Steven Potter:
Will you encourage absentee voting?

Ben Wikler:
We think whatever way of voting works best for an individual, we want them to do that. So there are some folks for whom absentee voting is a fantastic choice. There are many people who love going to the polling place. We want to listen to people and engage with them and support them using the method that works. What we don't want is to see a repeat of the Republican strategy from 2020 where they tried to make it harder for people to vote, and then they tried to throw out ballots from people who cast absentee ballots in a couple of counties specifically. That was a plot to try to overturn the election. Totally unacceptable in our state.

Brian Schimming:
So as we go out and identify Republicans, over and above what we have right now, I have a very simple message to 'em. The sooner I can get Republicans to vote, if I can get them to vote a couple weeks before the election, I save a lot of resources when I can get people to early vote and then shift resources away from people who are regular Republican voters because I've got 'em in the bank. We've banked their vote and then can move those resources over to persuadable voters.

Steven Potter:
What made you change your view or interest and desire in having people early vote or absentee vote? Why the shift?

Brian Schimming:
It's a very practical matter. I get a hundred, 200,000 Republicans to vote early in the state, and I'm able to push resources over to undecided voters. That helps us win.

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