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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

 4:35 PM 

Turnout light so far

Some local turnout is exceeding the state's prediction, according to a sampling of clerks.

But for the most part, turnout at the polls has been light, and there have been no major problems.

"We're not hearing that anybody's having real hot activity anywhere," said Kevin Kennedy, director of the Government Accountability Board.

Kennedy said problems at the polls that he's heard of so far have been minor, such as whether signs or material on a referendum are too close to a polling site. But he said it's been nothing out of the ordinary.

Kennedy had expected 11 percent of the state's 3.4 million registered voters to go to the polls today with local races driving turnout.

That was the case in West Bend, where Clerk Amy Reuteman said the southeastern Wisconsin community had about average turnout for a spring election. The exception was an area with an aldermanic race that already had turnout of 18.6 percent by 3 p.m. The community also had several contested school board races on the ballot.

"We'll be lucky to get to 20 percent," she said.

Richland Center Clerk-Treasurer Jude Elliott said he expected turnout to top the state's expectation because local Judge Ed Leineweber was on the ballot for the 4th District Court of Appeals. But other than a school board race, there wasn't much on the ballot.

In Dane County, the city of Madison was at 3 percent turnout by early afternoon. Stoughton, meanwhile, had already topped 11 percent with a $15.7 million in school referendum questions on the ballot.

La Crosse Clerk Tery Lehrke said she was overly optimistic yesterday when she predicted the city would have turnout of about 12 percent. Other than the 4th District Court of Appeals and some county supervisor races, there isn't much on today's ballot.

"I'm hoping that we get 10 percent," she said.

-- By JR Ross

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