Election officials in Wisconsin announced this morning that turnout thus far has been extremely high. “There are lines at all of our polling sites” in Milwaukee, reported Milwaukee Election Commissioner Sue Edman. “If it continues as we think it will, it is going to be very, very high.” Polls remain open until 8:00 p.m. Central Time.
Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett is the expected beneficiary of high turnout in the city. But turnout isn’t just up in Milwaukee – it’s up statewide, including Governor Scott Walker strongholds. “We’re hearing reports of strong voter turnout,” said Government Accountability Board’s Reid Magney. Turnout may rise as high as 65% of registered voters in the state. By contrast, voter turnout was just 50% for the 2010 election in Wisconsin, and nearly 71% in 2008.
It is not unusual, however, for recall elections to draw larger-than-normal voter turnout. During the 2003 California recall election, 61% of registered voters showed up to the polls, a 10% increase in registered voter turnout over 2002.