UPDATE: Eau Claire voter turnout in Wisconsin spring primary

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Eau Claire City Clerk Carrie Riepl says about 47% of registered voters cast ballots in Tuesday’s spring election. That’s about 18,000 votes.

Riepl says that includes in-person and absentee ballots processed. She says they ordered ballots expecting a 60 percent turnout.

Eau Claire County Clerk Janet Loomis says the voter turnout was 34.2% of eligible voters.

Each municipality will reconvene on April 13, 2020 at 4 p.m. to count late arriving absentee ballots and then will run election results for the races on the ballots which we will post on our website next Monday night as soon as we get the information from municipalities.

More absentee ballots are coming in and will be counted as long as they were postmarked on or before April 7 and received by the clerk by Monday, April 13.

Riepl says they are working on a plan to count those absentee ballots.

The final count for Wisconsin's spring election will be released on April 13.


EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) --The nation's eyes were on Wisconsin on Tuesday, as many tried to see how the Badger State would handle in-person voting during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"There definitely has been no comparable. There's been a lot of different facets with this COVID-19, with the social distancing and all those issues and then of course with all the political, governor saying this and saying that and the judges making decisions, it's just been one kind of whirlwind," said Eau Claire County Clerk Janet Loomis.

County-wide voter turnout numbers were not available on Tuesday, but in the city of Eau Claire after a check-in from all 20 polling locations after 5 p.m. there was a 34.3% voter participation rate between in-person ballots cast and absentee ballots that had been processed.

At Calvary Baptist Church, there was a line outside the door for much of the day as voters waited to get inside.

"There was never a doubt, I was always going to come here and vote. I mean you can't let fear decide how you're going to handle things. I mean people are going to make excuses for not voting, I wasn't going to be one of those people," said Dustin Steinbrecher.

At all polling locations in the county, there were extra measures taken.

Gloves for all workers, six feet between each voter, and plenty of hand sanitizer available.

"If I got here and it was crowded and everyone was close together I probably would have left, but because it was run fairly well, again it felt safe," said John Walsh.

For others, they say there was no doubt they were heading to the polls on Tuesday.

"It's my first time leaving the house since I came back from school. Everyone's been really careful around our house and I felt really safe coming here and voting," said John Bickle.

There was a sense of frustration with how this election has played out, but that is why people who were in line Tuesday say it is that much more important to vote.

Either in-person or by absentee.

"If you're nervous about this then you should be out voting right, because if you're nervous about this it means you don't like how this has been handled up until this point. You don't like what's happening today. So that's all the more reason to get out and vote," said Steinbrecher.

City of Eau Claire officials say they will not have final voter participation numbers from Tuesday until after midnight.

Absentee ballots postmarked by April 7 will count if they are received by local clerks by Monday April 13 at 4 p.m.

We will not know results in any race from the election until April 13.