Record midterm voter turnout, state elections officials say

Published: Nov. 7, 2018 at 6:40 PM CST
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State elections officials say 59.4 percent of adults in Wisconsin voted on Tuesday, based on unofficial results. That's a record for voter turnout in a midterm election.

The number of absentee ballots cast before Election Day was also a record for a midterm.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission says the election was "relatively trouble-free."

"There is no evidence of hacking or of voter fraud or suppression. Given the unprecedented voter turnout for a midterm election, the relatively small number of issues reported today should give Wisconsinites confidence and pride in our system of clean and transparent elections," interim administrator Meagan Wolfe said in a statement.

People who filled out a provisional ballot have until 4 p.m. this Friday, Nov. 9, to show a valid photo ID, Wisconsin driver's license or state ID card number to their municipal clerk's office.

Counties will begin certifying their vote totals next week and must provide them to the elections commission by Nov. 20. The commission must certify the statewide results within 10 days of receiving the last county canvass report or December 3, whichever comes first.

Attorney General Brad Schimel indicated he'll wait for the results of the county-by-county canvass before deciding whether to accept a close loss to Democratic challenger Josh Kaul or challenge with a recount.

Under a law passed in 2017, candidates can only seek a recount when they lost by less than 1 percent of the vote -- or lost by less than 40 votes in races where fewer than 4,000 votes were cast. That candidate must cover the costs of the recount unless they lost by less than one-quarter of one-percent of the vote.