JANESVILLE

A mildly strong Election Day turnout boosted Rock County’s voting numbers, allowing the county to surpass earlier low predictions.

The county’s final turnout was 23%, higher than the 20% County Clerk Lisa Tollefson had originally expected. Low absentee turnout later led her to drop her prediction to 15 percent, she said.

She was pleasantly surprised by the last-minute uptick, she said Tuesday night.

Undecided voters on two school referendums, families traveling on spring break and a relative lack of yard signs could have reduced early voting returns, she said.

In Walworth County, Clerk Kim Bushey said the county had a 25% turnout. That was a slight increase from last year’s spring election and was about what she was expecting.

Early voting numbers in Janesville were actually higher this year than last year. The April 2018 election also featured contested races for state Supreme Court and Janesville City Council.

Janesville Clerk/Treasurer Dave Godek said the city issued more than 1,500 absentee ballots this spring and had received more than 1,300 of those back as of Monday night. Last spring, only about 1,000 absentee ballots were returned on time.

That number doesn’t remotely approach the absentee ballot totals for this past November election, when races for governor, U.S. Senate and attorney general headlined the ballot. Janesville received more than 6,000 early votes for that election, Godek said.

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