Election officials report very strong local voter turnout
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JANESVILLE Perhaps it was the fact that people had been told the Wisconsin vote would be crucial to the presidential candidates.
Perhaps it was because people believed the talk about this being the vote of a lifetime.
Whatever the reason, voter turnout was reported very high in Janesville and across southern Wisconsin.
A reporter who visited Janesville polling places Tuesday was told of large number of absentee votes and large numbers who registered at the polls.
Janesville City Clerk Jean Wulf at one point said projections were indicating a record turnout.
Janesville and Rock County numbers were not available as The Gazette went to press early Wednesday morning.
Walworth County Clerk Kim Bushey reported 88 percent of registered voters cast ballots, and that does not include those who registered at the polls on Tuesday.
Bushey said the 52,314 total votes in Walworth County was the highest total going back to 2002.
"We've done a lot of elections in 2012, and I think people rose to the occasion. They saw the import of the election, and they turned out," Bushey said.
It was apparent by early afternoon that the volume of voters would delay the count in Janesville.
"It's going to be a late night," Wulf said around 2:40 p.m. It was.
A poll observer from Chicago, Judy Popovich, said at about 6:30 p.m. that the voters she saw at Madison Elementary School in Janesville impressed her.
"It's kind of inspiring to see people come in after working all day, and they've got their kids in tow, and the kids are hungry, and still they come," she said.
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By GAZETTE STAFF 05/05/13