Ask, learn and vote for primaries

The following appeared in the Letters to the Editor in the February 5, 2016 edition of the Ashland Daily Press: 

By Janel Ryan, Board Member, Ashland Bayfield County League of Women Voters

With little else in the news, it seems all of our conversations eventually turn to politics and the election season, especially now with our first primary set for Feb. 16. As we begin this exciting and sometimes contentious election cycle, the League of Women Voters proposes that we Ask, Learn, Vote.

Ask. Who and what is on the ballot? Which candidates are running for election? Are there any ballot measures to consider? You can call your municipal clerk's office to get this information, find this information in your newspaper, or go to For this first primary, the statewide focus will mainly be on the selection a of Supreme Court justice.

Learn. Here's the interesting and challenging part. We cannot always trust the information on candidates' positions from political ads. Look for media interviews and position statements, look on candidates' websites, check out to find out exactly what the candidate's views are. Most importantly, go to candidate forums where you can ask your questions of candidates running for office. The League of Women Voters, as a non-partisan organization, will be sponsoring two forums before the Feb. 16 primary. The first forum is Feb. 9 for the District 16 Ashland County Board, which will be held in Highbridge. The second forum will be held in Red Cliff to hear from the candidates running for Bayfield School Board; this forum is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 11. You can go to the website for more information. Additional forums will be held during this 2016 election cycle.

Vote. This first primary is very important as voters will be choosing who moves on to the general election. You can find your polling place on or You may also call the Ashland County Clerk at 715.682.7000. If you need to register to vote, you may do so until Friday, Feb. 12 at your municipal clerk's office. You should call that office or city hall to check for office hours; you will need proof of residence to register. You may also register on Election Day. Remember, you are required to bring a photo ID in order to vote.

Here are the important voting dates to remember for 2016: Feb. 16 (state and local primaries), April 5 (presidential primary and state and local non-partisan elections), Aug. 9 (Wisconsin’s presidential primary), and Nov. 8 (state and national partisan election).