The state Government Accountability Board on Monday predicted voter turnout for the April 5 election could be as high as 40 percent, due largely in part to the three-way race for the GOP nomination. GAB director Kevin Kennedy said he expects front-runner Donald Trump to bring out many “new voters to the polls – for and against.”
Trump is currently leading the GOP delegate count, followed by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders continue to compete for the Democratic nomination.
Other factors in driving up turnout are the close state Supreme Court race between Justice Rebecca Bradley and Appeals Court Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg, along with thousands of local government, school, and court races.
The last time turnout for a presidential primary in the state was above 40 percent was in 1980, when 45 percent of eligible voters showed up at the polls. That number has slid off significantly since then, hitting a low of just 22 percent in 2000.
Early voting in Wisconsin got underway Monday, both through in-person absentee and mail requested ballots. It runs through April 1.
The GAB is reminding voters that they will need to show a government-issued ID at the polls, such as a driver’s license or state-issued photo ID card, in order to obtain a ballot.