Voter turnout steady for recall primary election

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Many polling locations in State Senate District 10 say they've seen a steady stream of people coming to cast their ballots today.

By 11:30 am, the polling place we visited on Technology Drive in Menomonie already had 222 voters.

And the poll workers and voters say they're surprised at the turnout.

“I didn’t expect there'd be a line” says Robert Cook, who voted just before noon. “It was fairly busy, but everything seemed to be running smoothly.”

Voters say they didn't plan on having to wait a few minutes to vote today, because of it being the primary for a recall election.

“It's very steady all day. We do have a lull for five minutes here and there, but frequently we have four or five people here,” says Chief Poll Inspector Jane Hoyt.

Hoyt says primary elections will always be a lower turnout than main elections, but she says this is on par with any other state-level primary.

“I don’t think it's any different. I think the turnout is very similar, and as usual our voters are very courteous, so we don’t have to worry about a thing,” says Hoyt.

Voters say they didn't mind a few minutes wait before getting their ballots.

“It moved along pretty quickly,” says Doris Navarre, who also cast her ballot late Tuesday morning.

“Not a line, but I hoped there is good participation,” says Lynne Hausman, saying the turnout defied her expectations.

We called around to Pierce, Polk and St. Croix counties. They make up the remainder of District 10. They all expect voter turnout along similar lines, saying the publicity of this primary race may push voter numbers up higher than expected.

And as with any other election, voters lined up, marked their votes and cast their ballots. But this time around, voters in western Wisconsin had to go through additional steps.

“The new regulations are for when you are a new voter and you sign in. Everyone seems to have the correct identification,” says Hoyt. “And when you go to vote now, they will ask you for a photo id. And you don’t have to show it this time, but we will remind you that in February 2012 elections, you will be required to show a photo id. However, one big change this time is that you do have to sign the poll book next to your name. But, no one seems to worry about that.”

Hoyt says her staff hasn't encountered too many difficulties with the new system.

“It's just something else we have to learn,” she says.

And voters say signing the poll book, didn't slow down their election day too much.

Everything seemed to be running smoothly even with the signatures and asking for photo id everything seems to be running well.

“I thought the workers were very complete and very thorough,” says one voter.

Polls close at eight Tuesday evening.

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