Jay Heck

Jay Heck

Since 1996 Jay Heck has been the Executive Director of Common Cause in Wisconsin, the state’s largest non-partisan citizens political reform advocacy organization with more than 12,000 members and activists.

Voting sign in school

The future of free and fair elections in Wisconsin could hinge on the fate of Meagan Wolfe

By: - July 10, 2023

Just prior to the long July 4th weekend, a number of dramatic events occurred regarding the future of fair and free elections in Wisconsin and specifically the immediate direction that the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC), the state agency that oversees our state’s elections, will take leading into the critical and all-important 2024 presidential election year. […]

Two absentee ballots in the mail sticking out of the front of a mail box on a pole

Wisconsin must repudiate this Trump-ordered assault on voting and fair elections

By: - July 26, 2022

On July 20, Republican Wisconsin state legislators on the Joint Committee for the Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR), at the behest of Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and State Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg), voted to suspend an emergency rule regarding common sense clerk corrections for small omissions on absentee ballot witness certificates. While […]


It’s primary day! Here’s what you need to know

By: - February 15, 2022

The 2022 spring primary is Tuesday, Feb. 15, and we have another opportunity to participate in our democracy. If you haven’t yet cast your ballot by absentee voting, then prepare now for how you will vote in-person. Not every Wisconsin voter will have an election Tuesday. Check to see if you have an election […]


Criminal charges against elections officials are a partisan stunt

By: - November 4, 2021

Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling’s recommendation of criminal charges against five Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) officials — stemming from sensationalized allegations about “possible” voting fraud in a Racine County nursing home and “possible” widespread, statewide fraud in the 2020 elections — are little more than a baseless, hyper-partisan attack on legal and approved election procedures […]

Gerrymandered district rendered on a brick wall

G.O.P plans emphasize partisan control, not fairness, just as in 2011

By: - October 22, 2021

Late Wednesday afternoon, Wisconsin Republican legislative leaders opted to release their secretly-drawn state legislative and congressional district maps for the next decade just hours after the People’s Maps Commission released revised voting maps, originally released on September 30th, but revised to reflect the significant public input and reaction to the PMC draft plans. The timing of the release […]

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 03: U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks as other House Democrats listen during a news conference on the For the People Act at the east front of the U.S. Capitol March 3, 2021 in Washington, DC. The House is scheduled to vote on the act today. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Test for democracy in the United States Senate this week

By: - June 21, 2021

Since the 2020 election, state legislatures across the country have introduced more than 300 voter suppression bills that weaken every American’s right to vote. While states like Georgia and Texas are making national headlines, in the last few weeks Republican state legislators in Wisconsin approved a host of anti-voter legislation that will diminish and restrict […]

Gavel on top of a book placed on piles of US dollar bills

Out-of-control campaign spending and weak recusal rules undermine Wisconsin’s courts

By: - June 1, 2021

Wisconsin, from statehood in 1848 to about a decade and a half ago ago in 2007, had a national reputation for having one of the most respected, impartial, nonpartisan, fair and trusted state court systems in the nation. Much of this was because there was a generally held belief among Wisconsinites of all political persuasions […]

American Flag on toothpick with Vote flag election urging democracy voter participation

Enhanced DMV service is vital for upcoming election

By: - September 18, 2020

It’s been nearly a decade since former Gov. Scott Walker signed Act 23 into law, establishing one of the most restrictive and extreme photo ID laws in the nation. Since that time, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has become the gateway to our democracy – providing critical support to […]


Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald have continually lied about partisan gerrymandering

By: - July 22, 2020

Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald have long opposed any and all attempts to bring even an iota of fairness and impartiality to the redistricting process of state legislative and congressional districts in Wisconsin. Indeed, their fear of a fair system that would provide Wisconsin voters with legitimate competitive […]

Wisconsin State Capitol

Democracy in Wisconsin: Back to the Future

By: - August 12, 2019

When I became the director of Common Cause in Wisconsin in 1996, this state was still very much one of the bright lights in the nation when it came to honest, transparent, accountable state government and politics.   There was bipartisan consensus here that the amount of special interest money in elections was growing and that […]