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As temperatures fall, voter turnout rises

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Catherine W. Idzerda
February 20, 2008
— Voters braved sub-zero wind chills and icy county roads to get to the polls on Tuesday.

Rock and Walworth county clerks reported significant increases in voter numbers. Walworth County’s numbers more than doubled, Walworth County Kimberly Bushey said.


During the 2004 presidential primary election, about 14.81 percent of the eligible voters cast ballots. In Tuesday’s primary, that number increased to 32 percent.


Most of the town and municipal clerks ordered extra ballots to prepare for the turnout but had to ask the county clerk to print more.


“We were able to stay ahead of the demand,” Bushey said.


In Rock County, voter numbers increased about 14 percent, Rock County Clerk Lori Stottler said.


Stottler said about 30 percent of the county’s voters turned out for the 2004 primary. On Tuesday, about 44 percent of voters turned out.


Again, municipal and town clerks ordered extra ballots, but several came in the week before and the day of the election to pick up “scrap ballots” the county had left over from testing.


“I believe we let out about 500 ballots,” Stottler said. “But we won’t know how many of those were used until later this week.”


Fulton Town Clerk Connie Zimmerman said she “had to give the new county clerk a lot of credit.”


“I ordered 1,000 ballots, and she called and said we really needed to get some more,” Zimmerman said.


During the last presidential primary, 700 people voted in Fulton Township. On Tuesday, 1,052 voters showed up at the polls.


“The total in our poll book is 2,912,” Zimmerman said of the town’s registered voter numbers.


Click here for full election results

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