It’s Election Day, but state officials says only 10-percent of Wisconsin voters are expected to narrow the fields for the State Supreme Court and various local races. UW-Madison Political Scientist Charles Franklin says the estimate from the Government Accountability Board is on par with most spring elections despite three candidates and one incumbent vying for a State Supreme Court seat.
“It (Supreme Court election) doesn’t command the attention of voters the way a Senate race or gubernatorial race does.” Franklin says this is partly because the electorate is not highly informed as to the role of the court and the candidates involved.
This is the first election under the recent law that aims to keep special interests out of high court races. Franklin says the law’s public funding for judicial candidates, “levels the playing field,” for smaller challengers but he doubts it will lead to any major changes in these elections. Meantime he expects voters to continue basing their high court candidate decision from endorsements by groups or other elected officials.
Franklin expects there to be a slightly high turnout in Madison where the city’s mayor is being challenged and six people hope to replace retiring County Exec. Kathleen Falk.
In Milwaukee County, five candidates are competing today to serve the final year of Governor Scott Walker’s term as county executive.