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Voter Turnout Estimated at 20 percent for Spring 2008 Election

Date: 
March 28, 2008

MADISON, WI – The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB) is predicting a twenty percent turnout – or approximately 875,000 voters – to participate in the Tuesday, April Spring Election. That election will include a state Supreme Court race and a statewide referendum regarding limiting the Governor’s veto power.

“The estimate is based on how many voters came out for previous statewide spring contests,” said Kevin Kennedy, GAB Director. “Last year’s Supreme Court race generated about a twenty percent turnout, too.”

The 2007 Wisconsin Supreme Court contest between Linda Clifford and Annette Ziegler brought out 831,657 voters, which was 19.5 percent of voting age population of the state. The 2003 Supreme Court race also generated a participation rate of about 19.5 percent, and was paired with a statewide referendum question, similar to this year.

In recent years with contested statewide elections, only turnout for the 2005 Spring Election, which included a State Superintendent of Public Instruction race, was lower at about 17.5 percent.

“In general, voter interest in 2008 seems fairly strong,” Kennedy said. “The presidential election process is prompting voters to pay more attention now, and we have a number of local contests that will encourage voters to come out next week, too.”

There are thousands of local election contests Tuesday for Wisconsin’s local governing bodies – including county boards, village and town boards, city councils and school boards.

“We encourage voters to make their opinions count at every level of government,” Kennedy added. “Tuesday’s election provides them another opportunity to directly determine how public policy at many levels will affect their daily lives.”