Watch LWV candidate forum featuring Democrat Joni Anderson and Republican Joan Ballweg; both seek 14th Wis. Senate seat in November

Democrat Joni Anderson, and Republican Joan Ballweg, right, participated in the Sept. 10 League of Women Voters of the Ripon Area candidate forum.

The League of Women Voters of the Ripon Area hosted a virtual candidate forum last night at the Ripon City Hall. Featured were Democrat Joni Anderson and Republican Joan Ballweg. The two face off on Nov. 3 for the Wisconsin State Senate seat now held by the retiring Republican, Luther Olsen.

As with all the League’s candidate forums being held this fall, the forum, following social distancing guidelines, did not have an in-person public audience. Instead, the forum was broadcast live on the Ripon public access channel and then posted to its YouTube channel: You can use this link to view it. Note that the forum actually starts at the 5:15 mark so you may want to forward to that starting point. 


Freeland Film Fest starts Sept. 11 and runs through Sept. 15; virtual experience replaces in-person screenings

In this ever-shifting “new normal,” film festivals have made the conscious decision to go online this year. The Freeland Film Festival is no exception. 

By pivoting to a virtual experience, the Freeland Film Festival can continue to share with you our amazing “stories that inspire,” and offer our festival to a global audience, including places where Freeland’s international community can participate. 

All films will be available any time between Friday, September 11 through Tuesday, September 15, 2020. Some films and panels will be broadcast live, including our opening night film The Last Ice, Global Webinar, the Youth Environmental Activism Workshop, and more. 

Please stay tuned via our website, social media, or e-newsletter as we continue to make more announcements! Ticket Information Passes and tickets can be purchased at 

All tickets and passes must be purchased online. Unfortunately, there are no in-person or cash/check options available. 

Virtual Festival Pass $40–Gain access to all screenings, panels and music at the festival. 

All films are ticketed (except The Need to GROW) 

Regular: $8 

Senior 62+/Student/Active Military: $7 

Workshop: $8 

Panels: Free 

The Freeland Film Festival is a program of with a goal to foster a global storytelling platform featuring films about people, wild animals and ecosystems that are facing daunting challenges. These are stories of hope and inspiration.

View the Festival website for more information on tickets and the event schedule: 

View the Festival Facebook page.

Green Lake County Dems & Friends friend Evelyn Galster is the event and development coordinator.

View the festival trailer.

Pat Dobrinska exhibit at town square through the end of the month

Local artist and teacher Pat Dobrinska, a friend of the Green Lake County Dems & Friends, has an exhibit of her work at the Town Square in Green Lake, running through the month of September. 

Here is a description of her career and work from another source. 

“Award-winning artist Pat Dobrinska lives on a 160-acre farm in rural Wisconsin, where she is able to study and paint all manner of wildlife — her lifelong love — and particularly Sandhill Cranes. Each Summer at least a few mating pairs of cranes entertain her in the pastures below her house. She established her career as a portrait, landscape, and bird artist while still in high school, with many works displayed at galleries throughout the country since. Formerly an elementary and high school art teacher of 15 years, she now teaches adult art classes from Wisconsin to Mexico. When not painting or birding, Pat can be found on horseback, bike, or kayak, jumping into life.”

Next time you are in downtown Green Lake, make sure you stop in and view her works. Most are for sale. 


Joni Anderson and Joan Ballweg set for LWV candidate forum on Thursday, Sept. 10; watch live or later on Youtube

Two polar opposites will be front and center on Thursday night when Democrat Joni Anderson and Republican Joan Ballweg participate in a candidate forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the Ripon Area. Both are seeking the seat in the Wisconsin Senate vacated by longtime Republican Luther Olsen.

Voters will be able to watch the forum on the Ripon public access channel (Spectrum 986 and 987), and the next day on the city”s YouTube channel: There will be no public in-person audience for the forum due to the pandemic.

Anderson, from Adams, is seeking her first public office. Ballweg, however, is a long-term member of the Wisconsin State Assembly. 

Joni Anderson was a featured presenter at the September meeting of the Green Lake County Dems & Friends.

A proud longtime union member, Anderson recently retired after 26 years at an auto parts manufacturer in Necedah. She is a charter member of UE Local 1106 where she served as its president, vice president, and shop stewart. The United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, is an independent democratic rank-and-file labor union representing workers in both the private and public sectors across the United States. It has 35,000 members.

Ballweg has supported Republican-led attempts to crush the state’s unions (and thus their support for Democrats at election time). Anderson is unabashedly pro-union. 

Anderson is also a strong advocate for Fair Maps,  something Ballweg has repeatedly refused to support. In fact, Ballweg and her Republican colleagues in the legislature, never publicly questioned the behind-closed doors process former Governor Scott Walker and the Republican–controlled legislature used to draw up the state’s severely gerrymandered voting districts.

Those districts, created to ensure Republican dominance, are one of the reasons Democrats in 2018 gained more votes for Dems running for Assembly seats than did the Republicans, 1,306,878 to 1,103,505. Despite losing the total popular vote, Republicans–thanks to the gerrymandered voting districts–keep 66 of the 99 seats in the Assembly. 

If you want to know more about where Anderson and Ballweg stand on the issues, watch the forum live (there will be no public audience thanks to the pandemic). 

Also note that the League doesn’t conduct debates. This is a forum where each candidate is given an opportunity to respond to the same questions. 

Zimdars participating in forum on Sept. 17

Next week, on Sept. 17, also a Thursday, the League is hosting a forum featuring two of the three candidates running for the 41st State Assembly: Democrat Nate Zimdars (Ripon) and independent Jean Bratz (Wisconsin Dells).

It is not clear if Alex Dallman, the Republican seeking to replace Ballweg, is participating. Dallman, like all the candidates, was sent a certified invitation to the Sept. 17 forum, but did not respond by the deadline set by the League. It is also worth noting that he did not participate in the LWV forum for the Republicans running in the Aug. 11 partisan primary, which he won handily.


Dallman formerly worked for 6th Congressional District Republican Rep. Glenn Grothman. Grothman has regularly declined to participate in League forums, saying that the League, which is a registered nonpartisan voter information nonprofit, is not sufficiently nonpartisan. Historically, the nonprofit, nonpartisan LWV has been one of the country’s leading voter education organizations.

Grothman was also sent a certified invite to participate in a forum on Sept. 24 with his November challenger, Democrat Jessica King. When asked if he planned to participate in the forum, Grothman, in Ripon, on Friday evening, gave a noncommittal answer, saying that he expected to participate in some sort of forum with King but he was not sure when or where. He did not directly address his availability for the Sept. 24 LWV candidate forum.

Per LWV policy, if Grothman does not participate there will be no candidate forum with King. 

Check our Facebook page and that of the League for the current status of Grothman’s availability for the Sept. 24 forum.

Another opportunity to hear Joni Anderson, candidate for the 14th Senate Seat, plus Mike McCabe of Blue Jean Nation; both in Adams on Wednesday evening


Joni Anderson was one of three Dems who spoke at the Sept. 5 meeting of the Green Lake County Dems & Friends.

If you missed the Saturday, Sept. 5 regular meeting of the Green Lake County Dems & Friends and would like another opportunity to hear from Joni Anderson, the Dem challenging Republican Joan Ballweg for the 14th State Senate seat being vacated by Luther Olsen, you can hear her on Wednesday evening. Sept. 9  In Adams, at Friendship Park.

Also speaking Wednesday night will be Mike MCabe, the founder of Blue Jean Nation, and the former executive director of The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. McCabe is a political reform activist and a former candidate for governor in Wisconsin. MCabe will speak first at 6:30 p.m. 

King, Anderson, Zimdars and Arndt headlined Marquette County Democratic Party candidates’ night

Nate Zimdars


Melisa Arndt

Several members of the Green Lake County Dems & Friends traveled to Harrisville in Marquette County on Tuesday night to lend support to the Marquette County Dems and their candidates’ night.

Joni Anderson

With social distancing and masks the rule, about 45 people attended the event which was held in an open-air pavilion.

Speaking were Jessica King, who is challenging incumbent Republican Congressman Glenn Grothman for his seat in Congress; Joni Anderson, who is running against former Republican Assemblywoman Joan Ballweg for the 14th State Senate seat being vacated by long-time Senator Luther Olsen; Nate Zimdars, who will battle Republican Alex Dallman for the 41st State Assembly seat being vacated by Ballweg, and Melisa Arndt, who is running for the 42nd State Assembly. 

Jessica King

If you plan to vote on Nov. 3–of course you do–here is information you need to have.

There are several options for you to vote in the Tuesday, Nov. 3, general election.

First, if you’re not concerned about the health issues associated with voting in person, you can certainly vote in person on Tuesday, Nov. 3, at your normal polling place. For many of us, this is the least desirable option. 

If you plan to vote on election day in person, make sure you heck with your clerk to verify that your polling place will be open on election day.

Second, you can vote absentee by mail. To do this, you need to request an absentee ballot, if you have not already done so (go to to request an absentee ballot). You can also contact your clerk for help in requesting an absentee ballot.

For people who have not requested an absentee ballot for the Nov. 3 election, the Wisconsin Elections Commission will mail information to registered voters on how to request an absentee ballot on Sept. 1.

When you get your ballot, you need to fill it out properly. You must also fill out the return envelope correctly and completely. If you don’t do this, your ballot may not count. You must sign the ballot and a witness must also sign the ballot; there is a place for their signature. Finally, stick your ballot in the provided envelope and mail it.

If you are concerned about the ability of the USPS to deliver your ballot before the election, mail the completed ballot promptly. Who knows what will happen with the postal service!

Third, you can take your completed ballot to the clerk and physically hand it to them. Please call first to make sure that their office is open. If you do not have a witness to sign your ballot, your clerk or someone on the clerk’s staff can serve as the witness. They can also verify that you have completed the return envelope correctly.

If you need a witness to sign your absentee ballot, you can contact us and we will provide a witness, who will sign the witness line on your return envelope. We will do this in a socially safe manner. To request help with a witness, you can email us or call 920 570 2182. If you call and are asked to leave your name and phone number, please do so and someone will get to you shortly.

Do not give your completed ballot to anyone to deliver or mail. Mail your ballot or deliver it to the clerk yourself. 

Need to know your polling place? Go to where there is a form you can fill out that will tell you the name of your clerk, the office address, and additional contact information. 

Of course, the most important task is to register the vote.  Don’t rely on the fact that you have voted in the past. You need to verify that you are properly registered for the Nov. 3 election and you can do this by visiting

Follow our website or Facebook page for updated information.

Former State Senator Jessica King swamps field in the 6th CD partisan primary

Jessica King, participated in a recent League of Women Voters of the Ripon Area candidate forum

With over 75% of the vote, former Wisconsin State Senator Jessica King easily topped a three-person field Tuesday to win the 6th Congressional District Democratic Party partisan primary.

King rolled up 38,039 votes in the 11 counties that are included in the district. First-time candidate Michael Beardsley finished second with 7,885 and Matt Boor came in third at 4,575.

With the win, King, an attorney, earns the right to take on incumbent Republican Congressman Glenn Grothman in November.

King won all 11 counties, with her strongest performance coming in Winnebago County, her home county, where she racked up 10,825 votes. 

By itself that total would have earned her the win, even if she had not added votes from the 10 other counties in the district.

Jess King tops field of Dems in Green Lake County partisan primary voting

Jessica King 

While Green Lake County is only one of several counties within the 6th Congressional District, voters who voted for Democrats on Tuesday in the partisan primary overwhelmingly voted for Jessica King. King, a former Wisconsin State Senator earned 609 votes to lead Matt Boor (143) and Michael Beardsely (133).

According to information posted on the Green Lake County website, only 26.82 percent of the county’s eligible voters participated in the Tuesday election. 

In all, 4002 votes were recorded Tuesday, with the City of Berlin leading the way with 783 voters. The Town of Brooklyn was next with 539 voters.  The Town of Princeton was third with 425.

In  another closely watched contest, Alex Dallman, a former Glenn Grothman staffer and a first-time candidate, rather easily defeated former Ripon Mayor Gary A. Will in the Green Lake County Republican partisan primary for the 41st State Assembly seat being vacated by Joan Ballweg. Dallman, a former Green Lake County Republican Party Chair, is from Markesan. He now lives in Green Lake. Dallman had 1,595 to Will’s 456. Berlin’s Luke Dretske, still another first-time candidate, actually finished second in Green Lake County with 592 votes. 

In the Democratic Party partisan primary for the 41st State Assembly, Ripon’s Nate Zanders, a member of the Ripon School Board, ran unopposed. Zanders tallied 785 votes in Green Lake County.

Another Democratic running unopposed, was Joni Anderson. Anderson, from Adams,  hopes to upset a favored Ballweg for the 14th State Senate seat being vacated by Luther Olsen. Anderson pulled in 818 votes in Green Lake County. 

We won!

We’re the winners.

Ok, we were not on today’s ballot, and before the night is over, someone, either Micheal Beardsley, Matt Boor, or Jessica King, will be declared the winner of the Democratic partisan primary for the right to oppose incumbent Republican Congressman Glenn Grothman in November, But we won too.

Why? Because we had three diverse and outstanding candidates from which to choose. Beardsley, Boor, and King, while clearly Democrats, offered us choices. They gave us options and for that we should be grateful.

Running for office, particularly today given the highly partisan divide that dominates our political environment, is not for the faint-hearted, It requires an amazing amount of time, energy, and unfortunately, money. It also helps to have a strong support team, something that for new candidates, is difficult to develop.

It also requires a thick skin because once you announce, you are a public figure. Of course that can work both ways, but as a candidate you need to be prepared to see and hear things about you personally and politically that will leave you shocked and even defenseless. Welcome to the world of politics in 2020.

As Dems, however, we were presented with three candidates who took the high road, who did not denigrate or attack each other. How refreshing. 

Beardsley, Boor, and King also presented us with differences that ultimately helped us decide which one would receive our support.

Beardsley, from Oshkosh, was a newcomer and this was his first try for elective office. He represents the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party,. Boor, from Cleveland, just outside of Sheboygan, probably worked the hardest of the candidates to gain visibility and traction. Although he too was a first-time candidate, he made it a point to attend and participate in any gathering within the district where there were votes to be had.

King, an attorney from Oshkosh, started with an advantage: she had existing name recognition as a former Wisconsin State Senator and a former member of the Oshkosh Common Council. Accordingly, her campaign reflected this experience. She also has a strong personal story to tell, having overcome challenges that would have humbled lesser people.

So regardless of who is declared the winner of the partisan primary, we, as voters, were the true winners.

Thanks to Michael, Matt and Jess for making this happen. 

Green Lake County Dems & Friends observe social distancing rules at August meeting

Green Lake County Dems & Friends chair Linda Wilkens, in the foreground, ensures that the Zoom connection is working during the organization’s meet on Saturday, Aug. 1 in Green Lake.

The Green Lake County Dems & Friends met Saturday, Aug. 1 in an outdoor setting while practicing social distancing and the wearing of masks.  It was both an in-person meeting for those who were comfortable in such a setting, and a Zoom meeting, which allowed members and friends to participate online. “It would be great if we could return to our in-person monthly meetings at the Caestecker Public Library in Green Lake,” said Linda Wilkens, the organization’s chair, “but with the COVID-19 pandemic  disrupting what used to be normal, we’re using this approach.” Wilkens added that the dual option gave the organization’s members a choice: Join us in person, but using social distancing and masks, or attend via Zoom. The organization’s next meeting is Saturday, Sept. 5

Beardsley, Boor, and King interviewed by Sheboygan Press

It is that time of the year: Area newspapers are interviewing candidates for local offices and publishing their answers. The latest newspaper to do this is the Sheboygan Press. Earlier this week, it published the responses given by Democrats Michael Beardsley, Matt Boor, and Jessica King–to the same set of questions. The three are competing against each other in a partisan primary on Aug. 11, with the winner advancing to meet incumbent GOP 6th District Congressman Glenn Grothman on Nov. 3. 

Check out their answers.

Once again, here is information on how to vote using an absentee ballot; please share with family, friends, neighbors, coworkers or anyone of voting age


Once again, here is critical information on how you can vote via absentee ballot in Wisconsin; please share this information with your family, friends, neighbors and any other vote.

Note: This information is taken directly from the Wisconsin Elections Commission website.


Who can Request an Absentee Ballot?

Any qualified elector (U.S. citizen, 18 years of age, who has resided in the district in which he or she intends to vote for at least 10 days) who registers to vote is eligible to request an absentee ballot. 

Under Wisconsin law, voters do not need a reason or excuse, such as being out of town on Election Day, to vote absentee. 

Any voter who prefers to vote by absentee ballot may request one.  You have several options for requesting an absentee ballot and casting your vote. 


Request an Absentee Ballot by Mail

If you are a registered Wisconsin voter, you can download the Application For Absentee Ballot (EL-121).  Just complete the form and mail it to your municipal clerk’s office. You can find your clerk at MyVote WI: by searching for your voter record or performing an address search. You can also find your clerk by searching through the list of all Wisconsin municipal clerks.  Your application must be received by the clerk no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Thursday before the election in order for an absentee ballot to be SENT to you.  You will also need to provide a copy of your acceptable photo ID with your request.  If you have not previously provided a copy of photo ID, photo ID must accompany your first application by mail.  More information about photo ID can be found at 

If you are not already registered, you will need to register to vote before an absentee ballot can be sent to you.

Voters who are indefinitely confined due to age, illness, infirmity, or disability may request that a ballot be automatically sent to them for each election.  Indefinitely confined voters do not need to provide a photo ID with their absentee ballot request.  If you or someone you know are indefinitely confined you will make this designation in box 6 of the Application for Absentee Ballot (EL-121).  More information on the exceptions to the photo ID law can be found at:

Military and Overseas voters have additional options for absentee ballot deliveryClick here for MilitaryClick here for Overseas. Military and permanent overseas voters do not need to provide a photo ID with their request.  

Request an Absentee Ballot by E-Mail, Online, or by Fax

Regular Wisconsin voters may also request that a ballot be sent to them by sending an e-mail or fax to their municipal clerk. Registered voters may also use to request their absentee ballot by clicking “Vote Absentee.” This request must be made no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Thursday before the election in order for an absentee ballot to be SENT to you.  If you have not previously provided a copy of photo ID, photo ID must accompany your application.  More information about the photo ID requirement can be found at  

Instructions for Completing Absentee Ballot

You can find detailed instructions for completing your absentee ballot here: Uniform Instructions for Absentee Voters.

Deadlines for Returning Your Absentee Ballot

Your completed absentee ballot must be delivered no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day.  The U.S. Postal Service recommends absentee ballots be mailed one week before Election Day to arrive in time.

In-Person Absentee Voting at your Municipal Clerk’s Office (Early Voting)

You can also vote absentee at your local municipal clerk’s office.  If you apply for an absentee ballot in your municipal clerk’s office, or another designated location for in-person absentee voting, you will vote your ballot immediately in the clerk’s office, seal your ballot in the proper envelope, and return it to a member of the clerk’s staff.  No ballots may be taken out of the clerk’s office. 

You will need to show your acceptable photo ID for voting when voting by in-person absentee ballot.  More information about acceptable photo IDs can be found at

When can I Vote an In-Person Absentee Ballot?

Each city, village and town in Wisconsin is responsible for setting the dates and hours of in-person absentee voting for their municipality.  To find the dates and hours for in-person absentee voting where you live,  contact your municipal clerk.

Who is my Municipal Clerk?

The municipal clerk is the clerk for the City, Village or Town in Wisconsin where you reside.  If you do not know who your municipal clerk is, or where the clerk’s office is located, please use the MyVote Wisconsin website: to locate your clerk’s contact information.  You can also find your clerk by searching a list of all Wisconsin Municipal Clerk Contact Information.


In your quest to be an informed voter, make sure you check out the Wisconsin Examiner

Where do you go for reliable, trustworthy information you can use to be an informed voter? On your list should be the Wisconsin Examiner. 

It is a noble experiment in journalism in that it doesn’t employ the traditional business model of accepting advertising and having readers pay for subscriptions.

Here is how the Examiner defines itself (taken from its website):

“The Wisconsin Examiner is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news site offering a fresh perspective on politics and policy in our state.

As the largest news bureau covering state government, the Examiner will offer investigative reporting and daily coverage dedicated to the public interest.

In Wisconsin’s great progressive tradition, we aim to hold the powerful accountable to the people, follow the money, and dig out the truth. Although we give you the inside scoop, we are not a publication for “insiders.” Instead, we cover stories and voices that too often go unheard.

We don’t accept advertising or sell subscriptions. Instead, we rely on the generous support of foundations and people like you, who care about Wisconsin and believe an informed public is crucial to a healthy democracy.

We take our inspiration from the motto emblazoned on a ceiling in our state Capitol: “The Will of the People Is the Law of the Land.”

The Examiner is part of States Newsroom, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit supported by grants and a coalition of donors and readers. We retain full editorial independence.

Accuracy and transparency builds vital trust with you, our readers. Our policy is to update a story to correct errors promptly and note the change at the bottom of the story.

If you believe we’ve made a mistake, please email Ruth Conniff or Melanie Conklin so we can address it.

Read our ethics policy here; read our privacy policy here.”

View the Wisconsin Examiner website and then sign up for its free newsletter. It will soon become one of your most valuable and important sources of information that you rely on as you become an informed voter.

Previous Next
Test Caption
Test Description goes like this