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County Clerk Amazed with Local Voter Turnout

07-Nov-2018

Voter turnout for Tuesday’s midterm election was much higher than expected. Fond du Lac County Clerk Lisa Freiberg predicted a large turnout, but was still amazed at the final numbers. 

When we asked her if she expected 83-percent registered voter turnout in the county, Freiberg told us “part of me wants to say yes, and part of me wants to say there’s no possible way it’s going to be that. Even looking at the ballot - the enthusiasm is always sometimes there and you talk to different people and yes, I saw that very high volume of absentee voting going on.”

Freiberg adds that the City of Fond du Lac tends to see slightly lower turnout than the county total, but says they didn't lag behind this time around. 

She says Fond du Lac city residents also showed a “strong 83-percent, so that’s something that really stuck out to me. But even in the Town of Empire, they saw 88-percent turnout of registered voters out there. It’s just amazing. For a midterm, these are very, very high percentages.”

Freiberg also points out that higher absentee votes tend to make things sluggish at the polls, but Tuesday was different. 

She says “that was not the case yesterday. There were several – the town of Friendship was one of them - they saw a line all day long, about 20-25 minutes when I was out there to vote. And that was consistent all day long. I believe the last voter voted about 8:30pm. At 8:00pm the polls closed and then around that 8:30pm timeline is when they started processing absentee ballots."

Taking a look at those turnout numbers also plays a role in how she plans for future elections. 

Freiberg says “when I do my planning in two years or four years, these are all numbers I work with – because I have to order ballots back in June. Right after the August election I have a little time to fluctuate those numbers a little bit, but not too much time – because they have to get their paper stock in for these ballots and everything. It’s a lot of numbers to look at, and obviously I want a ballot for everybody who wants to come out to vote.”

The usual turnout for a midterm election usually floats around 50-percent.  

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