One problem voters probably won’t encounter Tuesday is long lines at the polls.
Primary elections are notorious for low turnout, and this one appears to be particularly uninteresting to a lot of Rock County residents, said Rock County Clerk Lisa Tollefson.
Tollefson said she hears from municipal clerks around the county that absentee voting for this election is at a low ebb, one indicator of voter disinterest.
Rock County has about 121,000 eligible voters. Tollefson expects 6 percent to 8 percent of them will vote.
Janesville Clerk-Treasurer Dave Godek said absentee voting in the city—which includes what people call early voting—is about normal for a February election.
Godek said 633 people voted with absentee ballots. That compares to the high-interest election last November, when 9,000 city residents cast their ballots early.
The few who do vote could make a big difference, as very few votes—even one vote—have determined elections, and the fewer the voters, the more impact one vote has.
Tollefson recommends voters go online to myvote.wi.gov to verify they are still registered to vote.
On the same website, voters can see sample ballots for their particular areas.
Voters can register at polls, Tollefson noted, but they need to bring proof of residence.
Godek said the only warning he has is for voters whose polling places are in schools. Be aware of school start and end times, when foot and car traffic can be heavy.
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.
No new voting laws have been enacted of late, so things should operate much like recent elections, including the requirement that each voter present a photo ID, such as a driver’s license or state ID card.
“For the first time in a long time, there’s really nothing new or different,” Godek said.
All voters will be able to help choose the two candidates for state Supreme Court. They will vote for one. The two top vote-getters will advance to the April 3 election.
The winner will replace Justice Michael Gableman, who is stepping down.
Milton School District voters have a choice of eight people running for three seats on the board. Voters can vote for three. The top six will advance to the general election in April.
Godek said the Milton School Board race is the one wild card that could push up turnout in Janesville, where four wards are in the Milton district.
One primary election will be held for Rock County Board, in District 26, which comprises a small part of Janesville’s west side and adjacent rural areas to the west and north.
Running for the District 26 seat are the incumbent, Dave Homan, and challengers Vicki Brown and Mario Bullock. Voters will select one, and the top two will advance to the April election.
The Beloit School District also has a primary, with five people running for two seats. Voters will narrow the field to four.
The Gazette will report election results Tuesday night after polls close. Tollefson said she will have Rock County results on her website.