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Wisconsin Spring Election To Decide Supreme Court Seat, Local Issues

Municipal Positions, Judges, Referendums Also On Ballot

"Vote" sign
Dave Goldman/AP Photo

Wisconsin voters are heading to the polls Tuesday for an election which will include a nonpartisan state Supreme Court race, municipal and county races, circuit and appellate court races and dozens of referendums around the state.

Wisconsin Elections Commission spokesman Reid Magney said he expects turnout will be lower than a U.S. presidential election.

“A spring election is typically about 20 to 25 percent of the voting age population,” he said. “But what matters is what’s on the ballot, and in this case, we do have a contested Supreme Court race.”

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He noted that turnout in the April 2011 election was unusually high at 34.3 percent, when there was a hotly contested Supreme Court race between David Prosser and Joanne Kloppenburg.

Still, he expects numbers will be lower than the November 2018 turnout of 59 percent.

“If you had a little bit of a line in November, I wouldn’t expect one on Tuesday,” he said. “That said, if there’s a hot mayor’s race in your community or a controversial referendum on the ballot, turnout may be higher.”

Voters need to show a photo ID like a driver’s license, passport or military ID to receive a ballot, said Magney. He said same-day voter registration will be available at each polling place.

Tuesday’s election will include 87 referendums across the state, including one on partisan gerrymandering in Vernon County and another on medical marijuana legalization in Wood County.

According to the state Elections Commission, Wisconsin had 3,416,204 active registered voters as of March 1.