City News

Spring primary sees relatively strong voter turnout

Image By: Jon Yoon

Tuesday’s municipal primary had relatively strong voter turnout in Madison and Dane County, according to the city and county clerks’ offices.

Madison registered 19.6 percent voter turnout, with a total of 39,904 ballots cast.

This year’s turnout results only trail those of 2016, a presidential election year, by a few percentage points. Last year, the spring primary saw 22 percent voter turnout in Madison. It is notable that a presidential election year typically draws in more constituents.

In 2015, 12 percent of the 183,317 pre-registered Madison voters made it to the polls.

Extension of absentee polling places to several new locations in Madison, including on the UW-Madison campus, could have affected turnout. Madison constituents broke records for early voting with in-person absentee ballots, which took place until Feb. 19.

The amount of in-person absentee voting was higher than in any February primary, including in presidential election years, according to city officials. 1,822 Madison residents voted absentee as of last Thursday, beating a previous record of 1,777 set in the 2008 presidential primary.

Dane County had an overall voter turnout of 17.5 percent at the 2017 spring primary. This year fell a few percentage points behind 2016, which saw a 21 percent voter turnout, with higher profile races sparking voter interest.

In 2015, 13 percent of pre-registered voters cast ballots for the February primary.

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