Janesville66.1°

Area polling places see strong turnout

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Catherine W. Idzerda
September 15, 2010

Five polling places ran out of ballots.


That’s about all that needs to be said about Tuesday’s voter turnout.


Across Walworth and Rock counties, town and county clerks reported higher than normal turnout for a primary in a nonpresidental year.


In Rock County, turnout hit a 24-year-high for a non-presidential primary with 22 percent voting, according to Rock County Clerk Lori Stottler.


Walworth County turnout was significantly higher than other September primaries in recent years, County Clerk Kimberly Bushey said.


Turnout was 21 percent of residents over age 18, Bushey said. It was only 4 percent in September 2008, 12 percent in 2006 and 12 percent in 2004.


The vote also could be looked at in terms of people registered to vote: 27 percent of Walworth County’s registered voters went to the polls Tuesday.


In Rock County, the towns of Bradford, Clinton, Harmony, Johnstown, La Prairie and Turtle, as well as the village of Clinton had a higher than usual turnout, and five polling places ran out of ballots, Stottler said.


Photocopies were used and tallied by hand, Stottler said in a news release.


By mid-afternoon, clerks knew something different was going on.


“We’ve had 75 voters,” Devona Udulutch, clerk for the town of Center, said at 3 p.m. “For a primary like this, we usually average 50 or less.”


Udulutch thinks the Republican race for governor and Democratic contest for Rock County coroner brought more people out.


By the end of the day, 181 people had been through the polls in the Center Township.


At 3 p.m., 287 people had voted in Fulton Township, and that’s out of 2,534 registered voters.


“That’s 11 percent of the voters,” Town Clerk Connie Zimmerman said. “In the 2006 primary, we had 353 total voters. In 2008—that was a presidential primary year—746 people voted”


By the end of day, 486, or 19 percent registered voters, had been to the polls in Fulton Township.



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