La Crosse County clerk discusses Tuesday primary, predicts turnout — eventually
Not a lot on the ballot in La Crosse County for Tuesday’s primary.
The one statewide election, however, has been called the biggest in the country with four candidates running for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
La Crosse School District residents will also see a school board primary — cutting from nine to eight candidates — and those in District 2 will have a city council primary to vote on.
La Crosse School Board candidates (vote for 4)
- Tim Alberts
- Kathi Blanchard
- Kevin Hundt
- Jeff Jackson
- Kimberly Krejchik
- Scott Neumeister
- Deb Suchla
- Trevor Sprague
- Jerry Wacek.
La Crosse city council District 2 candidates (vote for 1)
- Michael Davis
- Jace Lippert
- Erin Goggin
La Crosse County clerk Ginny Dankmeyer said we can expect results by 10 p.m. at the latest. Her day will start around 6 a.m. and she told La Crosse Talk PM that if her head hits the pillow by 1 a.m., then everything went smoothly.
In regards to turnout for Tuesday’s primary, Dankmeyer was a little apprehensive to try and predict.
“I used to be pretty good at predicting turnout and the political climate lately, it just makes it very challenging to predict what type of turnout we have,” said the clerk of 12 years. “With that being said, I think tomorrow we’ll have a higher turnout than what we typically see for a February primary, but I don’t think we’re going to be setting any records by any means.”
She does take into account the narrative surrounding the Wisconsin Supreme Court race being so important.
“A lot of times we hear — there’s a lot of commercials — we hear a lot of hype about the candidates in this primary, but in the end, we just don’t see people going to the polls to vote in primaries,” Dankmeyer said. “They tend to wait till the April election.”
Dankmeyer did finally get badgered into predicting how many might show up to the polls.
“A good primary, we get between like an 18- and 20-percent turnout,” Dankmeyer said. “So, I would guess we’re gonna be around that 20% turnout. I think some of the districts that may have the La Crosse School District or that city council race, they may have a little bit higher turnout. Higher than typical but I don’t think we’re going to be setting any records.”
CITY OF LA CROSSE VOTING INFO
All 13 polling locations in the City of La Crosse will be open 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. regardless of the weather.
• Reminder to District 12 voters: Your polling place has changed. The polling location is now HMOOB (Hmong) Cultural and Community Center, 1815 Ward Avenue.
• Remember your acceptable Photo ID to vote.
• If you need to register to vote or update a registration (if you changed your name or address since you last voted), you can do that at the polls. Bring acceptable proof of residence with your current name and current residential address.
• Absentee ballots must be received no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day to be counted. You can deliver your absentee ballot in person to the City Clerk through 4 p.m. on Election Day, or you can deliver it to your polling location by 8 p.m. Make sure you sign the envelope as voter and have a witness sign and provide their full residential address.
• To verify your polling location, check the status of your voter registration, see what is on your ballot or track your absentee ballot, visit https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/
Over the past few years, one could say a clerk’s job has gotten significantly harder with all the law changes put forth.
“Everything has changed,” Dankmeyer said. “Can you say it’s really the same? It’s the same that you go to the polls and you vote on a ballot, but the security has changed, what’s required of poll workers to change. You know, election laws are constantly changing. Some of those election laws are changing, you know, just weeks before the election comes up.”
No big changes heading into the primary. Dankmeyer is holding her breath that holds true for the next two months.
“Will anything change before the April election? Well, that’s yet to be determined,” Dankmeyer said. “We still have a month and a half before that election comes up, and we’ll have to wait and see what the legislators do on that one.”
Some of the more recent changes have made voting more difficult.
“The big change last year, I believe it happened right before the April election, where it outlawed drop boxes,” Dankmeyer said. “So you no longer could return your ballot via a dropbox. You had to return it directly to the clerk or the polling place. I know they updated the laws regarding whether you could fill in missing witness addresses if it wasn’t fully filled in.
“So those are probably the two of the bigger election law changes that affect not only the municipal clerk and poll workers, but the voters themselves.”
Dankmeyer said if you have an absentee ballot yet, you’ll have to go into your polling place and hand it to an election clerk, who will put it through the voting machine.
Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. As long as you’re in line by 8 p.m., you will still be able to vote. For more info visit MyVoteWI.gov.