City News

Madison, Dane County see huge turnout for midterm, governor elections

The 2018 election broke the record for turnout in a midterm in both Dane County and Madison, which saw a turnout of about 93 percent as a proportion of pre-registered voters.

Image By: Betsy Osterberger

Following an unprecedented period of early voting in the city of Madison and Dane County, turnout on Election Day exceeded expectations for the midterm and governor elections.

Shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday, the City of Madison’s Clerk’s office announced via Twitter 145,510 voters cast ballots in Madison, representing 92.9 percent of pre-registered voters. The city has not yet released the amount of people who registered at the polls on Election Day.

The turnout Tuesday was the third biggest turnout for any election ever in Madison. Only the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections drew more Madison voters to the ballot box. Tuesday’s election brought more than 23,000 more voters than the 2014 midterm.

Monday, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin urged the city’s voters to help break the turnout record for a midterm, which was set in 2014 with a 69.5 percent turnout.

“We’re shooting for 75 percent,” Soglin said Monday. “We don’t want to be satisfied with an easy new record.”

Soglin also took to the internet Tuesday to urge Madison residents to vote.

“Go away!!! Why are you here on Facebook? No!!” he wrote on Facebook and Twitter. “You should be out voting and getting others to the polls.”

Dane County also shattered a record for midterm turnout by more than 40,000 votes. The previous record for Dane County in a midterm was 252,467 set in 2014. Tuesday’s election drew 294,568 voters, though that number was about 15,000 less than 2016.

Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell took to Twitter several times throughout the day to keep the public updated on turnout statistics. He announced shortly after 3 p.m. that turnout was “tracking at 2016 Presidential levels at this point in the day,” adding the county was on pace to break the voting record.

McDonell noted some Dane County communities like Maple Bluff and Shorewood Hills had over 95 percent turnout of registered voters.

Dane County’s huge turnout was helpful to Tony Evers’ successful governor campaign, with just under 75 percent of the vote going for Evers, a total of just over 220,000.

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