The most important election of 2023

Indivisible Guide
5 min readFeb 7, 2023
Screengrab via Judge Janet Protasiewicz on Twitter

Last week, we launched our campaign to help flip the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and we’re overwhelmed by the response we received.

We’ve already hit our $5,000 goal, and our work is underway to get Janet Protasiewicz — the strongest pro-choice, pro-democracy candidate — through the top-two primary. This week we launched our Neighbor2Neighbor canvassing program, and soon we’ll be sending out more than 125,000 texts to turn out the vote for the February 21 primary.

Now, we’re in a position to expand our work in Wisconsin. We’re working closely with local Indivisible groups to identify the most impactful and cost-effective tactics we can deploy in the next few weeks. Will you pitch in $3 to provide our volunteers with everything they need to mobilize voters and flip the court in Wisconsin?

The donations we receive now will determine the level of support we can provide our volunteers and local groups and the programs we can greenlight going forward.

We’ll have more updates soon, but for now, you can read our last email below to get more details on the stakes of this election and why we’re backing Janet Protasiewicz in this race.

The upcoming Wisconsin Supreme Court election has been described as “the most important election in America in 2023,” and the race that will “likely have a larger effect on the 2024 presidential race than any other contest” this year.[1,2]

And honestly, that might be downplaying it.

In the coming years, the Wisconsin Supreme Court will determine the fate of abortion rights in the state and will likely hear cases on voting rights, redistricting, and election subversion in a key 2024 (House, Senate, AND presidential) battleground.

Those cases will either be decided by a liberal majority or a conservative majority that rubber stamps policies favored by the state’s MAGA legislature. It all comes down to the outcome of this election.

Clearly, Indivisible isn’t going to sit this one out.

In consultation with Wisconsin Indivisibles, we’ve decided to throw our support behind Janet Protasiewicz, a ​​Milwaukee County Circuit Court judge who has made reproductive freedom a centerpiece of her campaign.

There’s just one catch. Because Indivisible focuses primarily on federal races, we aren’t currently budgeted to activate our volunteer network to support Protasiewicz in Wisconsin. So this is a situation where you and other Indivisible supporters will determine what programs we can greenlight and how big a role Indivisible will play (more on that below).

We’re NOT talking about running big TV spots or expensive things like that. The super PACs are welcome to play in that space (and no doubt, they will). We’re talking about volunteer engagement and direct voter contact — tactics that deliver the best results at the lowest cost. Tactics that deliver wins.

So if you’re able to help us flip the Wisconsin Supreme Court and land a critical victory for abortion rights and democracy nationwide, please chip in here >>

If you’ve saved your information with ActBlue Express Lane, your donation to Indivisible Action will go through immediately:

Donate $7 >>

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Donate $25 >>

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A little more about the race

Three weeks from now (Feb. 21), Wisconsinites will vote in a primary to determine the two candidates who will face each other in the April 4 general election. The primary is nonpartisan in that the candidates don’t have party labels by their names — but in reality, there are two conservative candidates and two liberal candidates on the ballot.

Anti-abortion groups and other MAGA donors are already putting big money behind the conservatives, creating the risk of a nightmare scenario where two right-wing candidates emerge from the primary, guaranteeing a conservative majority for years to come.

That’s why we decided it was vital to mobilize during the primary behind a single standard bearer for civil rights and small-d democratic values.

A little more about the stakes

Wisconsin has been a testing ground for MAGA Republicans’ assault on majority rule for years. It’s a state where partisan gerrymandering virtually guarantees a Republican legislative majority regardless of the vote count — seriously, in 2018, they got 64% of assembly seats with only 46% of the vote.

A lot of the GOP’s anti-democratic shenanigans have been enabled by the state Supreme Court, where conservatives have held a majority since 2008. And because Wisconsin is a crucial swing state, that often has national implications — like when the court outlawed drop boxes ahead of the 2020 election. The conservative judges very nearly allowed Trump to throw out thousands of votes that year. In all likelihood, the court will hear cases related to election subversion once again in 2024.

So we’re talking huge national stakes — but there are obviously all sorts of civil, labor, LGBTQ+, and reproductive rights cases that will come before the court in the coming years too. Among them will be challenges to the nearly 200-year-old abortion ban that’s shut down all providers in the state (abortions are currently only allowed to be carried out at hospitals to save the life of the patient).[3]

How your support can make a difference

The last Supreme Court race that took place in the Badger State during a non-presidential election year was won by only 5,981 votes. With margins that small, every text we can send, every door we can knock will matter.

At this point, we’re looking to fund two programs during the primary and general election:

  • Our Neighbor2Neighbor canvassing program is a new simplified micro-canvassing program that helped propel us to our historic midterm wins last year. It gives our members across the state ten doors to knock within a block or two of their own home — allowing deep, personal, and persuasive conversations between neighbors.
  • Our peer-to-peer texting program will allow Indivisibles nationwide to contact Wisconsin voters using proven and tested messaging aimed at turning out the vote.

Our texting program is scalable, meaning the more we raise today, the more texts we can send. $3,000 gets us about 80,000 texts. If there’s an outpouring of support and we raise $5,000, we can send 125,000 texts. And if we raise even more, we can think about greenlighting more programs after the primary.

If you have the capacity to do so, please chip in now to help us get these programs off the ground as soon as possible and deliver a critical win for democracy in Wisconsin >>

If you’ve saved your information with ActBlue Express Lane, your donation to Indivisible Action will go through immediately:

Donate $7 >>

Donate $25 >>

Donate $50 >>

Donate $75 >>

Donate another amount >>

Whether or not you’re able to give today, we’ll have more ways you can get involved. For now, you can pre-register for textbanking and — if we hit our fundraising threshold — we’ll be in touch shortly with more details.

We’ve got three weeks until Election Day. Let’s get going!

[1] A Colossal Off-Year Election in Wisconsin, by Reid J. Epstein. New York Times, 1/16/23.

[2] Twitter thread by Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Ben Wikler.

[3] Abortion in Wisconsin, Abortionfinder.org

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Indivisible Guide

Indivisible is a locally-led, nationally coordinated movement-building progressive power in every state.