• WisPolitics


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

 12:51 PM 

Elections Commission says ‘no major issues’ so far, Milwaukee seeing high turnout

The state’s Elections Commission said earlier today it hadn’t heard of any “major issues” so far.

“The phones are busy but manageable,” the commission said in an 11 a.m. update. “Many of the callers are simply looking for their polling place or have questions about acceptable proof of residence or photo ID.”

Milwaukee, the state’s largest city, is on track to meet the 87 percent of registered voters who turned out at the last presidential election, said Milwaukee Elections Commission Executive Director Neil Albrecht.

Albrecht told reporters this morning that there were some voters confused about the photo ID requirement, but that the city is working with them to help them meet it.

He also said he wasn’t “aware of any site that’s had a really significant wait time,” though there have been some lines. That included the lines outside several polling locations when the election workers arrived at 6 a.m.

“And the polls don’t even open until 7 a.m.,” he said. “So that’s how enthusiastic the public is.”

The city of Madison has turnout of roughly 25 percent as of 11 a.m., the city said in an update. That's below the 29 percent of voters who had turned out by 11 a.m. in 2012, according to the city's 2012 spreadsheet.

But Dane County Clerk Scott Donell said the drop-off is likely due to the record number of absentee ballots the city -- and county -- have had this year. While some of the smaller municipalities in Dane County have had enough time to submit many of their absentee ballots into their voting equipment, larger municipalities such as Madison have likely been busier today.

"They won't have time to start feeding in the absentee ballots until a little bit later in the day," he said. "I think it is more of a timing issue than it is a number issue."

Monica Schultz, the West Allis city clerk, said before noon that turnout so far is “very comparable” to the 2012 levels and that turnout is likely to end up somewhere between 80 and 85 percent of registered voters. The lines in the morning when the polling locations opened cleared up “very quickly,” she said.

“Things have been running smoothly in West Allis considering the volume,” she said. “Right now, it’s very steady.”

And David Godek, the Janesville city clerk, projected the city will have “no problem” getting at least 80 percent of registered voters turning out. He said around noon that turnout will likely be at its 2012 levels of roughly 88 percent.

“Right now, our turnout’s looking pretty good,” he said.

-- By Polo Rocha


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