Busy primary day expected at polls
If you plan to register to vote at the polls Tuesday, Rock County Clerk Lori Stottler says you should bring three things: proof of residency, a photo ID and patience.
“I expect it to be busy,” she said this morning.
Predicting voter turnout is an inexact science at best, but the county has enough ballots for a 50 percent to 60 percent turnout, Stottler said.
If that happens, it would blow previous primaries out of the water. The last presidential primary, in 2004, drew less than 30 percent of voters, she said.
But there are reasons to think Tuesday’s turnout might be higher. Eleven candidates are vying for three spots on the Janesville City Council, and voters each will choose three candidates to move the top six vote-getters on to the April elections.
Candidates for Janesville City Council are Kevin Bishop, Billy R. McCoy, George Mark, Kelly O’Brien, K. Andreah Briarmoon, David Henke, Kathy Voskuil, Richard Ellingson, Karl Dommershausen, Yuri D. Rashkin and Tom McDonald.
Meanwhile—unlike in 2004—the Wisconsin presidential primary could have a big impact on the final nominations, especially on the Democratic side, where Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are in a neck-and-neck race to the convention.
Voters actually can choose from 16 candidates for president Tuesday: eight on the Democratic side and eight on the Republican side.
“The state certifies the ballot in early January because every county has to be programmed and ballots have to be shipped to the county clerk,” Stottler said.
Since then, many of the presidential candidates, such as Democrat John Edwards and Republicans Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, have dropped out of the race.
Obama and Clinton are the only declared candidates remaining on the Democratic side, while John McCain, Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul remain on the Republican side. McCain carries a huge delegate lead over Huckabee into Tuesday’s primary, but Huckabee has refused to concede, spending five days campaigning in Wisconsin.
Voters also can choose “uninstructed delegation” if they don’t know which presidential candidate they want but still want to vote for a certain party. The option gives delegates to the party’s nominating convention the right to choose a candidate for you, Stottler said.
Poll hours in Rock County are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Same-day voter registration is allowed, but you should bring proof of residency, such as a lease, phone bill or electric bill, and a photo ID, such as a driver’s license, Stottler said.
Contact your municipal clerk to find out where to vote. Janesville residents can look up their voting location by visiting www.ci.janesville.wi.us/citysite/PollingList.aspx.
More than half of all registered Walworth County voters also face a hotly contested primary. It’s the most challenging county board race since 2002, when the board downsized from 35 to 25 supervisors. That race had four primaries.
Seven of the 11 new county board districts have contested primaries, and 23 candidates are listed on the ballots. Tuesday’s election will narrow the field to two candidates in each district.
At least one incumbent seeks re-election in every district with a primary.
District 2 has incumbent Joe Schaefer challenged by Spring Prairie Town Chairman Jim Simons, former County Board Chairman Bill Norem and newcomer Terry Wilson. The most experienced supervisor, Roy T. Lightfield, with his 39 years on the board, chose not to run.
District 3 has incumbent Ann Lohrmann against LaGrange Supervisor Frederick Mark Bromley and Whitewater Alderman Craig Stauffer.
District 6 in Elkhorn has incumbents Larry Hilbelink and Kathy Ingersoll challenged by newcomer Robert Grohall.
District 7 sees incumbent David A. Weber challenged by Williams Bay Trustee James P. D’Alessandro and newcomer Sonja Berg-Schlesner.
District 8 has incumbents Dorothy C. Burwell, Joseph C. Guido Sr. and Dan Kilkenny facing a challenge from former Supervisor Jerry Waelti.
District 10 has incumbents Randy A. Hawkins and Pauline Parker facing newcomer Elizabeth Lyons.
District 11 has incumbents Alan Kupsik and Nancy Russell challenged by former Lake Geneva Mayor Spyro “Speedo” Condos. Condos also is running for mayor, again.
With fewer districts, each supervisor will represent about 9,200 residents.
Poll hours in Walworth County are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Same-day voter registration is allowed. To view election results for Walworth County, visit www.co.walworth.wi.us and click on elections.