Wisconsin Recall: Turnout High, Voting Orderly, Live Feeds
With several hours left before the polls close in Wisconsin's historic gubernatorial recall election, reports from the grassroots--as seen on newspapers blogs, twitter feeds and interviews with get-out-the-vote organizers--suggest that the state is heading to a massive turnout, especially in the Democratic strongholds surrounding Milwaukee and Madison.
"We have a record turnout," said Cary Jenkins, deputy state field director for the League of Young Voters, which focused on registered and turning out African-American voters in inner-city Milwaukee neighborhoods. "They [poll workers] have had to bring in more poll workers. They had to get more ballots."
In Madison, there are predictions that the turnout may approach 80 percent of registered voters, which is far above state election officials' predictions that two-thirds of the Wisconsin electorate would case ballots in the controversial gubernatorial recall.
A higher turnout is seen as helping Democrat Tom Barrett, the Milwaukee mayor, who is seeking to unseat Republican Gov. Scott Walker. It is possible that the results will not be known on Tuesday night, especially if it comes down to a spread of several thousand votes out of upwards of 3 million ballots cast. That is because at least 200,000 people voted using mail-in ballots, which may not arrive for several days--and will still be counted.
One of the few reports of people having trouble voting came from Madison, where the League of Women Voters reported that there was some confusion by poll workers on the state's new 28-day residency requirement before registering to vote. The League said it had received about 100 calls from students who were given conflicting information from poll workers, even though the state's Government Accountability Board, which oversees elections, issued instructions so all eligible voters would receive a ballot.
Two intriguing and revealing live news feeds that capture the feel and mood can be found here and here. The first is from the Milwaukee Journal Sentineland is a live blog with detailed reports and photos from around the state. The second is a live twitter feed of recall-related posts from the Green Bay Press Gazette, which also has links to many other blogs and other reports from both the pro- and anti-recall sides.