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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, June 25, 2021
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Madison voter turnout increases despite online polling site problems

Madison voter turnout in Wisconsin’s Spring Primary was up 4.5 percent from last year’s February election as voters cast their ballots Tuesday for the State Supreme Court and Madison School Board. 

Polls saw 47,599 registered voters in Madison despite online polling website MyVote Wisconsin experiencing problems — leaving some voters with delayed registration and confusion regarding their polling location.

The problem with MyVote Wisconsin developed from a crashed server that had to be taken offline, Wisconsin Elections Commission spokesman Reid Magney said in an interview with Wisconsin State Journal. The site crashed for some visitors, while others experienced long delays as it retrieved information. 

“We haven’t seen any indication that there’s anything suspicious going on,” Magney said. “We are still in the process of diagnosing the problem and figuring out a solution to it. When we know more, we will be happy to tell you everything we’ve learned.” 

If voters were experiencing problems, Magney recommended they use the backup polling location service gettothepolls.com while they addressed the issue. 

Magney does not expect the problems to continue into the nonpartisan general election in April or the partisan election in November.

"This website has been working for many years under significantly higher loads," he said. "This website has done very well in an election when we’ve had 60 and 65% turnout."

In the results from Tuesday’s election, current Justice Daniel Kelly and Dane County Circuit Court Judge Jill Karofsky advanced to the Wisconsin Supreme Court Election, while Maia Pearson and Christina Gomez Schmidt will move on to the April 7 election for the Madison School Board. 

The technical difficulties with the online polling website did not deter UW-Madison student Annie Martin from casting her vote. Although she experienced issues on MyVote Wisconsin, Martin said she made it a priority to vote despite her initial difficulty.

“Especially in a state like Wisconsin, every vote matters,” Martin said. “It's very rewarding to participate in elections and to directly influence the issues that affect our country.”

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