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Early in-person voting kicks off across Wisconsin ahead of spring Supreme Court election

Turnout in February shattered records for a nonpartisan primary, indicating voter participation will be robust on April 4

voting stickers
A roll of “I Voted!” stickers are shown, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, at the Miami-Dade County Elections Department in Doral, Fla. Wilfredo Lee/AP Photo

Early in-person voting is underway across Wisconsin ahead of an April 4 election that includes a hotly-contested state Supreme Court seat.

Starting Tuesday, people can fill out and return ballots at in-person locations, though exact hours vary by locality.

In Brookfield, turnout has already been robust, City Clerk Michelle Luedtke said. The southeast Wisconsin city kicked off early voting Tuesday at 8 a.m., and at least 177 people had turned in their ballots in-person before 1 p.m., Luedtke said.

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In February, more than 20 percent of Wisconsin’s voting-age population turned out to vote, shattering statewide records for a nonpartisan primary. Now, Luedtke’s busy preparing for general election day in two weeks, when turnout could be even higher.

“We are going to let people know that if they do vote on election day, there may be lines,” Luedtke said, adding that her office tries to keep wait times to no more than 15 minutes. “There’s typically lines right away in the morning and then there’s lines at dinner time.”

Although Wisconsin’s Supreme Court elections are officially nonpartisan, the race could tip the court’s ideological balance of power if liberal Janet Protasiewicz beats conservative Daniel Kelly for a 10-year term.

Wisconsin voters are also weighing two ballot questions that would amend the state Constitution to expand a judge’s authority to set cash bail.

A third statewide referendum is non-binding and won’t change policies. It asks Wisconsinites for their opinion on whether able-bodied, childless adults should be required to look for work as a condition of receiving taxpayer-funded welfare benefits.

And there’s a host of local races dotting ballots across the state, including candidates for mayor, school boards and city councils.

How to vote in Wisconsin’s spring 2023 election

Check your local clerk’s office for early in-person voting hours and locations.

Absentee ballots may also be returned by mail or dropped off at a local clerk’s office, though they must be received by 8 p.m. April 4 in order to be counted.

Polls are from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on election day. Anyone in line at 8 p.m. will be able to vote. People have until 8 p.m. that day to register to vote.