Wisconsin voters are heading to the polls in the primary election to fill an open seat on the state Supreme Court. The race quickly turned into an expensive and high-stakes race for control in a state, where the power is split between a Democratic governor and a Republican-controlled legislature. While the race is officially nonpartisan, interest groups and political parties have poured time and money into the election, making it an unofficial partisan battle.

The state court currently leans Republican

As it stands, the Republican-leaning state Supreme Court holds a 4-3 majority and often backs Republicans on issues including union-busting and voting restrictions.

However, the recent resignation of a conservative justice opens the door for liberals to take control of the court. With control of the court, they would have the opportunity to influence key political issues, including abortion and voting rights, which are expected to have a major impact on the upcoming 2024 presidential election.

At the end of the primary, the two candidates who received the highest number of votes will move onto to the general election, set for April. The candidates right now hoping to move to the general election includes liberal circuit court judge Janet Protasiewicz, fellow circuit court judge Everett Mitchell. On the conservative side, there is Daniel Kelly and Jennifer Dorow.

Dorow received recognition for overseeing the trial of a man who was found guilty for the 2021 Christmas Parade attack in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Wisconsin voters saw money come in from all across the state in hopes of influencing the race

The heated race has seen an increase in outside spending leading to more TV and radio ads, surpassing $7 million.

Political experts believe the spending could break the record of $15.2 million, which was spent on the 2004 Illinois Supreme Court election. The massive spending is a sign of the importance of the race, as the state Supreme Court would become the final authority on several heated political issues in Wisconsin.

One key issue that the state Supreme Court could decide on is the state 1849 law, which bans abortion in all cases.

Following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision last summer ended federal legal protections, making abortion a major issue in the Wisconsin race. The state Supreme Court's ruling on the matter could have significant implications for women's reproductive rights in Wisconsin.

The state Supreme Court could have a hand in the 2024 election

Political insiders believe that the Wisconsin state Supreme Court could have a serious impact on the upcoming 2024 election. Wisconsin had a key role in former President Donald Trump's attempt at overturning his loss in the 2020 election. One of the state supreme court's conservative judge's refused to participate in an attempt to discard ballots in two Democratic-leaning counties, making it a key factor in a rivalry between the two conservative candidates in this race.

The Wisconsin state Supreme Court has turned into a heated battleground, with control of the court and its decisions on key issues at stake. The outcome of Tuesday's election could play a role in shaping Wisconsin's political landscape and have serious consequences for Wisconsin voters.