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DECISION 2016: Higher than expected turnout reported for partisan primary

(WEAU)
Published: Aug. 9, 2016 at 6:36 PM CDT
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The partisan primary election is underway in Wisconsin. Election officials expect around a 16 percent turnout statewide.

In Eau Claire, officials had hoped for a nine to 12 percent turnout, but instead had a 13.6% turnout. 5,863 of the 42,972 registered voters cast a ballot.

Election specialist Cindy Anderson said turnout was only three percent as of 11 Tuesday morning, but was hoping for between nine and 12 percent by the time polls close at 8 p.m.

Anderson said two years ago during the partisan primary, turnout was 12 percent. Four years ago it was nine percent, so the turnout this year is pretty typical for a partisan primary.

You do not have to be registered with a specific party to vote, but you can only vote in one party's primary.

Cindy Anderson said even if you aren't interested in voting, it's a good time to get registered to vote before November.

"Lines are much lighter in August, and so if you've moved and you still need to get registered before November, come on out. Poll workers are anxious and ready to help people get registered to vote," said Election Specialist Cindy Anderson.

If you do want to register to vote, you'll need to bring proof of residence with you, such as a utility bill.

To vote in the primary, you do still need to bring a photo ID with you to the polls. Two federal judges have ruled people who can't get IDs can vote by affidavit or with a special receipt from the state Department of Transportation, but those decisions won't take effect until November.

A much higher turnout is expected for November. Eau Claire is looking for poll workers with a hope of adding five new poll workers to each of the 20 voting sites in the city.