In Tuesday’s recall elections, voters could pick candidates from two different parties in the governor and lieutenant governor races. Only two counties split the ticket.
It’s been 42 years since the Wisconsin legislature passed a constitutional amendment mandating that the governor and lieutenant governor be from the same political party. But recalls are different. Two out of the state’s 72 counties split the ticket and in both cases the elections were very close. In Eau Claire County, Gov. Walker won by 160 votes and Democrat Mahlon Mitchell won for lieutenant governor by nearly 300 votes. Rodd Frietag chairs the political science department at UW-Eau Claire. He says when the elections are this close mistakes are more visible, “I can only think that they were confused and didn’t quite know who to vote for, for lieutenant governor, and weren’t paying attention to the party label or maybe have some other grand design about what a form of government should look like in Wisconsin.”
Green County also picked a Republican for governor and a Democrat for lieutenant governor. Gov. Walker won there by 415 votes and Mitchell won by 62 votes.