Home History How Wisconsin shaped our nation’s elections

How Wisconsin shaped our nation’s elections

by Jan Schroder

You may be thankful that it’s not election season anymore, but did you know how The Badger State impacted the way we elect our representatives?

Primary candidates used to be chosen behind closed doors be each party’s bosses, but in the early 1900s, then-Governor Robert M. La Follette pushed for reforms to allow voters to choose their own candidates.

After much debate, the primary system was first used for statewide elections in 1906, leading to the election of James O. Davidson as the state’s governor. Wisconsin then used the primary system for the presidency for the first time in 1912.

– Alex Simon, The 100 Companies

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