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League of Women Voters of the Northwoods releases voter guides ahead of spring election


The League of Women Voters of the Northwoods is set to publish its 411 voter guides for the spring election today.

The guides include information about candidates running for local offices across Vilas, Oneida, Lincoln, Langlade, Forest and Florence Counties.

Yolan Mistele, the local Vote411 coordinator, says to compile these voter guides, league members reach out to every person running for local office.

This spring, that’s more than 200 candidates across six counties.

“We handle only the local races, so anything at the county level and down,” Mistele says. “We will ask (candidates) biological questions about themselves and then some questions about what they plan to achieve if they’re elected.”

Once completed, the Vote411 guides provide basic information about the candidates running for office and offer a side-by-side comparison of how candidates respond to different questions.

It’s a way for voters to easily compare candidate’s answers before deciding who to vote for, says Sue Dierksen, who leads the LWVON’s voter services team.

She says this can be especially important in local elections, where many of the candidates aren’t well known.

“For instance, in the primary in February, there were three people running. Two of them completed the questionnaire and the third one didn’t,” she says. “I knew nothing about any of them, but I could view the first two and see how they lined up with what I thought was needed in that particular position and I felt much more confident going to the poll and voting.

This spring, 28 percent of candidates submitted answers to the League’s questionnaire.

That’s twice as many people as last spring, but down from the spring of 2020, when 34 percent of candidates responded.

The spring election is April 5. That’s when voters will elect county board supervisors, school board members, the next Rhinelander mayor and a Vilas County judge.

Many of the local races are contested this year.

Erin Gottsacker worked at WXPR as a Morning Edition host and reporter from December 2020 to January 2023. During her time at the station, Erin reported on the issues that matter most in the Northwoods.
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