State elections officials project a good turnout at the polls today. The Elections Board believes we'll see voter turnout in excess of fifty percent statewide, and UW Madison political scientist John Coleman doesn't doubt it. "We'll probably have about a five or six point increase over our last midterm," says Coleman.
Coleman says the intensity of some the campaigns, such as the race for governor, along with statewide referendums on marriage and the death penalty, a competitive race in the Eighth Congressional District and some state Senate races are all contributing to the numbers. All of that on top of a "cultural norm" in Wisconsin that favors voting. "There's just an expectation that voting is important, that government matters," says Coleman.
Another key factor in Wisconsin; same day registration. Coleman notes that in many other states, voters must be registered 30 days before the election.