21 Aug 2014
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Election Turnout Could Exceed 40 Percent, City Says

Voting turnout hit about 30% by 5 p.m. in the City of Brookfield and was predicted to be in the higher range for spring elections, but not at gubernatorial turnout level.

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Brookfield city voter turnout could exceed 40 percent — a strong spring turnout level but not near a gubernatorial result, according to the city clerk's office.

By 5 p.m. turnout in the city had hit about 30 percent, City Clerk Kristine Schmidt said. 

"It will probably be over 40 percent. Spring is usually about 23 to 27 percent," she said.

A were cast — 1,475 compared to 1,377 last spring and 507 in 2009. 

For the gubernatorial race last November between then-Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, turnout was 79 percent, with 4,042 absentee ballots.

In the Town of Brookfield, Clerk Jane Carlson was predicting final turnout between 20 and 30 percent, compared to typical 15 to 20 percent. 

"It's been nice and steady, no lines," she said. There weren't lines for the town even when the polls opened at 7 a.m., she added. 

There were lines, however, in the City of Brookfield, when the polls opened, according to poll workers at Dixon Elementary School and the Brookfield Public Safety Building.

From 7 to 8 a.m. voting was busy, but since then voting has been "steady" without long lines, said Joyce Washechek, co-chief inspector at the Public Safety Building.

Schmidt said she ordered enough ballots to cover a 50 percent turnout and then on Monday ordered an extra 10 percent. She said she did not believe the sites would when there was an unexpectedly high turnout for the primary for state Supreme Court. 

Schmidt had encouraged some of the polling places to use the electronic voting machine during the day rather than at the end of the day when voting turnout typically increases as people vote after work.

Voters told Brookfield Patch the Supreme Court race between incumbent Justice David Prosser and challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg compelled them to the polls on the dry, cool election day.

Brookfield resident Jim Schultz said he voted for Prosser because "he's conservative" and would not legislate from the bench on cases that hit the high court.

A woman said she voted for Prosser "because my husband told me to." In a rush with her children in tow, she said she didn't know much about the candidates and voted at the urging of her husband and other relatives.

Another voter said he backed Kloppenburg because he had "a little voter remorse from the governor's race."

The Brookfield man, who did not want to be identified, said he voted for Walker in November because he thought he had a "pragmatic, middle-of-the-road approach" but was disappointed in his moves after election to curtail collective bargaining and cut education funding.

Voters in Brookfield could select a candidate for : Supreme Court, a Waukesha County Circuit Court race and two Elmbrook School Board races.

Stay tuned to Brookfield Patch for updates to this story and final results after the polls close.

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