Wisconsin will choose a governor, United States senator and members of Congress and the state Legislature in the midterm election today.
Plenty of attention has been paid to early voting, with the Milwaukee Election Commission reporting that more than 36,000 ballots already have been cast – far more than in the past. A turnout of between 60% to 70% is expected, the commission said before voting began.
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Polls are open from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. and voters will find a mix of rain, wind, chilly temperatures and in some regions of the state, snow.
According to Journal Sentinel, there are reports of strong morning turnout from around the state, and in some places people waiting in long lines.
Here’s a look at what observers noticed at the polls.
New voters at UWM
More than 100 student voters have registered so far this morning at UWM’s Sandburg Hall and 300 votes have been cast. Neighborhood residents tend to vote early at this polling site and students vote later.
Milwaukee on track for 65% turnout
Neil Albecht, executive director of the City of Milwaukee Election Commission, said voting Tuesday morning had gone smoothly without any major issues.
He said the city was on track to see a turnout of about 65% of registered voters, or a total of about 200,000 voters, including 50,000 people who voted in advance.
“I think we’re just where we anticipated that we would be at,” he said at a morning briefing.
One polling place in Riverwest reported 150 voters in the first hour of voting, he said. “That’s really significant and that’s what we’ve been hearing from across the city at our polling sites.”
Albrecht said that if voters are in line when the polls close at 8 p.m. they will be allowed to cast a ballot.
Statewide, the Wisconsin Elections Commission said more than 547,000 absentee ballots have already been returned for this election, breaking a record set in 2014 for a midterm election.