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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

 5:11 PM 

Recall primary turnout largely slow, steady

Turnout in recall primaries throughout the state has been slow but steady so far, according to most local election officials who spoke with WisPolitics this afternoon.

But in the 10th SD, where Dem Shelly Moore is up against GOP "protest candidate" Isaac Weix, River Falls Clerk Lu Ann Hecht said turnout has been “way above normal” for a primary and was looking more like turnout in a presidential race.

She said there were already about 600 absentee ballots and estimated that there were between 500 and 600 ballots cast in the morning. Should the morning trend continue, she said turnout could be high as 40 percent, compared to the usual 3 percent to 7 percent observed in a normal primary. Republicans in the district put out robocalls ahead of today’s election trying to get supporters to vote for Weix in the Dem primary.

The Village of Balsam Lake, also in the 10th SD, hit 65 voters by 1 p.m. out of 566 registered voters, a higher turnout than expected.

In the 14th SD, now held by GOP Sen. Luther Olsen, the city of Portage reported 11 percent turnout as of 1:30 p.m., with steady activity but no lines of voters at polling locations. Ripon reported "steady but slow" turnout, with Waupaca County likening turnout to any other small, local election.

Next door in GOP Sen. Randy Hopper's 18th SD, the city of Fond du Lac said turnout has been steady but "not overly busy" at polling locations. The city of Omro said about 22 percent of voters had turned out by mid-afternoon, and that officials estimate a total 32 percent turnout for the primary.

In GOP Sen. Dan Kapanke's 32nd SD, the Onalaska county clerk said turnout was about 20 percent this afternoon, with a total projected turnout of 30 percent by the end of the day. La Crosse city clerk's office said the expected turnout should end up at the 36 percent level -- same as the spring election -- and some polling locations have been relatively busy through the first part of Election Day.

And the Green Bay clerk's office said turnout was about 11 percent by the 2 p.m. count of the city's four polling locations as voters weigh in on the 2nd SD Dem primary involving GOP Sen. Rob Cowles.

-- By Staff

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