Wisconsin Officials Predicting Heavy Turnout in Tuesday Election

Helen Whalen Cohen

6/2/2012 6:33:00 PM - Helen Whalen Cohen

CBS is reporting that the number of absentee ballots that have already been cast foreshadows particularly heavy turnout in Tuesday's recall election.

 

Local election clerks who track absentee voting through a statewide computer system had issued at least 182,000 absentee ballots by midday Friday, foreshadowing what is expected to be heavy turnout next week. Almost 231,000 absentee ballots were cast during the 2010 gubernatorial race, which saw Walker beat Barrett by about 125,000 votes. However, only a third of Wisconsin clerks use the tracking system, which means the actual number of ballots issued so far in the recall is likely much, much higher.

Clerk's office employees said they extended hours on Friday, the last day for absentee voting, because of the high volume of voters seeking to cast their ballot ahead of the June 5 recall election. Employees told CBS Affiliate WISC upward of 1,250 people voted in Madison on Friday - the most of any day so far, officials said.

Former President Clinton spoke in Milwaukee on Friday to endorse Democratic challenger Tom Barrett, saying that both parties need to work together for Wisconsin to see an economic recovery. Referencing events last year when Democrats fled the state to block a vote on collective bargaining privileges, Clinton told the crowd that, "constant conflict is a dead bank loser, and you need to get rid of it".

In the meantime, Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch says that President Obama's lack of presence in Wisconsin 'speaks volumes' and doesn't bode well for Democrats.

"I think what it says specifically is that the president doesn't want to be associated with a losing campaign, and Tom Barrett's campaign right now doesn't have a whole lot of facts to stand on."

She has a point. President Obama won in Wisconsin by 14 points in 2008. If the president were more confident that it will remain a blue state this year, wouldn't we have seen him there by now?