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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

 11:53 AM 

Clerks: Turnout steady to near presidential levels

Various clerks in the recall districts reported steady turnout so far with some projecting numbers that will rival a presidential election.

In the 10th SD in western Wisconsin, River Falls City Clerk Lu Ann Hecht said today’s numbers could be as high as the 2008 Presidential election. The city issued 1,003 absentee ballots, twice as many as a regular election.

The municipality is home to both GOP Sen. Sheila Harsdorf and Dem challenger Shelly Moore.

“We expect the turnout to remain steady throughout the day,” Hecht said.

Hudson City Clerk Nancy Korson said voter turnout in Hudson, also part of the 10th, would likely not reach the levels of a presidential election. But they were comparable to the spring Supreme Court election, with over 500 absentee ballots received.

In Baraboo, Deputy Clerk Donna Munz said turnout was much higher than normal. She also said she'd received voter complaints over people at some polling places contacting them as they went into the polling places. At one, about nine people were outside and some voters said they were angry that they felt intimidated.

“We have received angry calls from voters regarding how persistent the people outside the polling places are,” Munz said.

In the 8th SD, one of the top races with GOP Sen. Alberta Darling and Dem Rep. Sandy Pasch, Whitefish Bay officials reported a steady stream during the morning, but said it was too early to say how turnout would end up in Pasch’s hometown.

In River Hills, where Darling lives, Village Clerk Barb Goeckner reported steady turnout through the morning. By 9:45 a.m., about 200 of the municipality’s 1,300 registered voters had cast ballots.

“It’s just been steady,” she said. “It’s not been a mad rush. We don’t have any lines, but it’s definitely been a steady turnout so far.”

In the 2nd SD, DePere officials predicted a turnout of around 45 percent by day’s end. In next door Green Bay, turnout was around 15 percent following the morning checks with polling places. In the April Supreme Court race, turnout was about 11 percent following the morning checks.

-- By Ellen Anevicius and JR Ross

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