UPDATE: 10 to 15 Percent Voter Turnout in Port, With Few Ballot Problems
Tuesday is primary day in Wisconsin's recall elections. Patch has the information you need to head to the polls.
By about noon on Tuesday, Port Washington city officials reported a voter turnout of between 10 and 15 percent in the election that will narrow the field of candidates running for governor, lieutenant governor and, in some cases, state senator in the June 5 recall elections.
"The voting today is going very smoothly and the weather is also cooperating," Port Washington Deputy Clerk Susan Westerbeke said in an e-mail.
Voting is going more smoothly in Port than elsewhere in more ways than one: voters in a variety of Milwaukee suburbs — confused by the recall election rules — have been overvoting, causing a lot of second ballots and even jammed machines.
Typically, voters must pick a single party, but in this election a citizen could vote in either party. Still, you only get to vote once per race.
This hasn't really been a problem in Port washington, according to Port Washington Deputy Clerk Susan Westerbeke.
"Our machines, if they overvote, when the ballot goes in it will kick it back out — and an LED screen will tell you (what was done wrong)," Westerbecke said. Voters then request a second ballot, and can have up to three — something that hasn't happened often this Tuesday.
"We have had a few (multi-voters), but when they come in (to the polls) — its posted and we let them know what the directions are that are clearly stated on the ballot," Westerbecke said.
There are three locations to vote in Port Washington, and here is the breakdown of Tuesday's turnout as of noon:
- Ward 1 and Ward 7 at Thomas Jefferson Middle school: 334;
- Ward 2 and Ward 3 at Port Washington City Hall: 285;
- Ward 4, Ward 5, Ward 6 at Dunwiddie Elementary: 334;
- Outstanding bsentee ballots: 16.
Because this is a special primary recall election, Westerbecke said it "cannot easily be compared to what we usually see," as far as turnout goes.
Last May, a special election was held for the 60th Assembly District spot, after Mark Gottlieb left to become transportation secretary for Gov. Scott Walker; that election saw an estimated 10 percent turnout.
Republican Gov. Scott Walker faces recall after opponents turned in hundreds of thousands of signatures in an effort to boot him from office. Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and four Republican state senators also face recall challenges.
On the ballot in Tuesday's primary election are the Democrats who hope to take Walker on in June and one person running against Walker as a Republican.
Republican candidates are: Walker and Arthur Kohl-Riggs.
Democratic candidates are: Gladys R. Huber, Kathleen Vinehout, Doug La Follette, Kathleen Falk and Tom Barrett.
Wisconsin voters will also have the opportunity to vote for a Democratic candidate to run against Kleefisch, who is not opposed in the primary.
Candidates are: Isaac Weix, Mahlon Mitchell and Ira Robins.
The state Government Accountability Board is projecting that between 30 percent and 35 percent of eligible voters will cast ballots, but Director Kevin Kennedy said turnout is hard to predict because the state has never had an election like this before.
In a traditional primary, voters may only cast ballots for one political party's candidates. That is not the case with the recall election because each race is considered a separate election. On Tuesday, voters may only cast one vote for each office — governor, lieutenant governor and, in some districts, state senator — but may vote in a different party's primary in every race.
Polling places for all districts open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.
Port Washington — Ward 1 and Ward 7 vote at Thomas Jefferson Middle School. Ward 2 and Ward 3 vote at City Hall. Ward 4, Ward 5 and Ward 6 vote at Dunwiddie Elementary. Visit the Port Washington city elections page for more information.
Saukville — All voting is at the American Legion Post 470, 601 W. Dekora St. Visit the Saukville village elections page for more information.
FAQs about Tuesday's election
The Government Accountability Board, which oversees elections in Wisconsin, provided a list of answers to frequently asked questions about the primary. Here are some of the most important things to know.
Voter photo ID: The law is currently on hold as two lower court decisions stopping voter photo ID are being appealed. Given the normal amount of time appeals take, it is highly unlikely both injunctions would be overturned before the primary or the recall election on June 5. If that somehow happens, the GAB says it will work with local election officials to implement the law.
Crossing party lines: Because each recall primary is a separate election event, voters may cross parties in the recall primary, but they may still only vote once per office. For example, in the governor’s primary, you may only vote for one person, either a Republican or a Democratic candidate. There are only Democratic primaries for lieutenant governor and state senate.
Write-in votes: There have been rumors that the Walker could avoid a final recall election on June 5 if he won the Democratic primary by write-in votes. This is untrue. A person cannot be a candidate in two primaries for the same office. The GAB has instructed clerks not to count write-in votes for anyone who is already a candidate in another primary for the same office. That means any write-in voters for Walker in the Democratic Party would be invalid.
Check your registration – Elections officials urge voters to use the state's Voter Public Access website to make sure that they are registered at their current address. Additionally, VPA will identify the races voters are eligible to vote in, and will tell voters whether they are eligible to vote within a Senate District that has a recall election. Voters who are unsure about whether they are eligible to vote in a state Senate recall primary or election should contact their municipal clerk’s office directly. If you have not registered to vote yet or you have a problem with your registration, contact your local municipal clerk’s office to check your options. You can register at the polling place on Election Day.
Know what proof of residence to bring: If you are already registered to vote, you will only need to state your name and address to receive a ballot, and are not required to provide any additional documentation. After stating your name, you will need to sign the poll list.
If you are registering at the polling place, make sure you have proof of residence and your Wisconsin driver’s license number. If you do not have a Wisconsin driver’s license, you can use the number from your Wisconsin ID card, or the last four digits of your Social Security number. Proof of residence can be established with a current lease, recent utility bill or other official document issued by a unit of government with the voter’s name and current address on it. A college photo ID is also acceptable if the institution has provided the polling place with a list of students who live in its housing and if the housing list includes citizenship information.
Avoid bringing undue attention or risk causing a disturbance: The state also is urging voters not wear campaign paraphernalia such as campaign/candidate buttons, shirts, hats, etc. inside the polling place. Those who wear campaign paraphernalia may be asked to cover it up or leave.