GAB Predicts Low Turnout for February Primary
For the City-Times
The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board is predicting voter turnout of less than 10 percent for the Spring Primary on Tuesday, February 19. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The only statewide race is a primary for Wisconsin Supreme Court justice. Voters will be narrowing a field of three candidates down to two for the April 2 Spring Election. The candidates, in the order they appear on the ballot, are Vince Megna, Ed Fallone and incumbent Pat Roggensack.
“Over the last decade, turnout of eligible voters for the three Spring Primaries for Wisconsin Supreme Court races has been 6.8 percent in 2003, 6.7 percent in 2007 and 9.6 percent in 2011,” said Kevin Kennedy, director and general counsel of the G.A.B. “We expect this year’s turnout to be in that range.”
Wisconsin has an estimated voting-age population of 4,378,741 eligible voters, the number used to calculate turnout. Voter turnout and current voter registration statistics are available at http://gab.wi.gov/elections-voting/statistics.
In other nonpartisan primary races for state office, voters in Dodge, Manitowoc and Milwaukee counties will be nominating candidates for circuit court judges for the Spring Election in April. Elsewhere in Wisconsin, voters may have nonpartisan primaries for town, village, city, county and school board officials.
In a rare spring partisan race, voters in Assembly District 98 in Waukesha County will be narrowing the field of five candidates in a Republican Party primary for the Special Election ordered to be held April 2. No Democratic Party or independent candidates filed to run, but the Republican primary winner could face write-in candidates. A map of AD-98 is available here: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/ltsb/redistricting/PDFs/ad98.pdf.
Voters who want to know which races will be on their primary ballots February 19 should visit the My Vote Wisconsin website: http://myvote.wi.gov, said Elections Division Administrator Michael Haas. In addition to providing sample ballots, the website will also help voters check their registration status and find their polling places.
Valentine’s Day – February 14 – is the last day for voters to request an absentee ballot by mail from their local municipal clerk, who they can find at My Vote Wisconsin. In-person absentee voting at the municipal clerk’s office for the Spring Primary ends at 5 p.m. Friday, February 15. Voters should check with their municipal clerk’s office for specific voting hours, especially those who live in small towns where the clerk may not have regular office hours.
Voters who are not registered may still register on Election Day at their polling place, provided they bring a proper proof of residence document. Detailed information about voter registration is available at http://myvote.wi.gov.
Haas also reminded voters and clerks that the G.A.B. will be open for extended hours for the primary. On Thursday, and Friday, February 14 and 15, and Monday February 18, the agency will be open until 6 p.m. On Election Day, the agency will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Voters who have problems or questions may contact the G.A.B. at 1-866-VOTE-WIS (868-3947). Clerks should call the Help Desk at 608-266-2028.