The Government Accountability Board estimates statewide voter turnout for this election to be around 70%. County clerks are reporting even greater numbers in some parts of the state, with some counties having totals nearing 90%.
Clerks are still tabulating totals and their final reports aren’t due to the Government Accountability Board until Friday afternoon but there’s no doubt voters turned out en masse. Bayfield County in northern Wisconsin reports that more than 80% of registered voters cast ballots. Clerk Scott Fibert says that’s because the stakes in this election were very high.
“We’re in a little bit bigger crisis and both parties realize it and people are concerned so I think maybe that might have triggered a little bit higher turnout,” he says.
Douglas County reported an 83% turnout. Dane County reported around the same. But some of the highest turnouts seem to be coming from the south eastern part of the state. Sue Ertmer is the Winnebago County clerk and the president of the Wisconsin Clerks Association. She says 88% of voters turned out in Winnebago.
“There was a lot of interest generated not only with the presidential but the U.S. Senate race," she says. "We had some locally contested assembly and senate races so, I think just a lot of interest on peoples part to get out there and vote.”
And perhaps the highest voter turnout came from Fon du Lac County with 92% of registered voters taking part. County Clerk Lisa Freiberg says with the recalls it seems like there’s been an election every other month but that hasn’t stopped voters.
“I know people are definitely sick of it but the opportunity for them to vote, that wonderful right that has been given to us, that is what I hear from people," she says. " Why wouldn’t you vote?”