MILWAUKEE, WI May 14, 2020 — The race for the most-targeted seat in the Wisconsin State Assembly became official today when Deb Andraca, who is challenging incumbent Republican Jim Ott in the 23rd District, submitted 1000 ballot signatures to the state election office. This is hundreds more than is required by state law and all of them were collected exclusively by mail.
“As a first-time candidate, I had no idea if we could get even the minimum 200 because collecting signatures during a stay-at-home order has never been done before,” Andraca explained. “We are so grateful to the hundreds of voters in our district who made the extra effort to print, sign, and mail us their ballot petitions. We believe it is a clear sign that our district is eager for a new state representative in Madison.” Only 200 valid signatures are required to be on the ballot as a candidate for state assembly, and anything collected over 400 is considered “supplemental.”
Because of the Safer at Home order, this year campaigns had to forgo traditional door-to-door canvassing but were still required to collect original — not digital — signatures in order to appear on the ballot. For first-time candidates without wide name recognition this proved particularly difficult. Many voters found the forms challenging, questioning where to sign, who can sign, and what municipality — all of which is usually handled by the person circulating the petition. To help voters navigate the form, the Andraca campaign set up detailed instructions on their website at www.debforwi.com/nominate.
“Many people who signed our petition were grateful for all the help from our campaign, both on the phone and on our website,” said Andraca. “If elected, I will continue to help all my constituents vote safely during the pandemic, including increasing access to voting by mail. Voting is the foundation of our democracy, and all eligible voters should be encouraged to participate in the manner that works best for them.”
The 23rd assembly district includes the Milwaukee suburbs of Whitefish Bay, Fox Point, Bayside, Eastern Mequon, Thiensville and Grafton.