Gov. Tony Evers votes on Election Day, Nov. 8 2022 | Photo by Henry Redman
As voters go to the polls for the Tuesday, Nov. 8 midterm elections, and as results are tallied, Examiner staff will be continuously updating our site with live coverage of the races for Wisconsin governor, U.S. Senate and the Legislature, as well as covering how the voting itself is going. Check back for updates.
1 year ago
Evers supporters celebrate as Wisconsin governor is re-elected
The mood at the Orpheum Theater in Madison grew increasingly celebratory as the clock ticked toward midnight and returns continued to show Gov. Tony Evers ahead of his Republican challenger, construction company executive Tim Michels. At 12:30, as CNN called the Wisconsin governor’s race for Evers, the crowd roared. Republican Sen. Ron Johnson was slightly ahead of Democratic Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes in the U.S. Senate race, which was still too close to call Tuesday night.
“I’m jazzed as hell to tell you that on Jan 3, 2023, I will still be the 46th governor of Wisconsin,” Evers told the cheering crowd. He thanked his opponent Tim Michels, who he said had called him to concede, for a hard-fought race.
Some people said he was boring, Evers added, “but it turns out, boring wins.”
Evers thanked the voters for their “grace, kindness and compassion” and said “you showed up for me and showed up for each other.”
Evers then reeled off the issues voters “showed up for,” including reproductive rights, LGBTQ and trans kids’ rights, economic fairness, public schools and saving a “democracy on the brink.”
Part of the reason for Evers’ strength was his performance in Republican strongholds including the Milwaukee suburbs.
Michels, in contrast, failed to win as many votes as former GOP Gov. Scott Walker and other Republicans in areas that have been crucial to Republican victories. Michels still carried those areas, but by less than Republicans’ historical margins. While Michels won suburban Waukesha by 21 points, as Craig Gilbert, a Lubar Center fellow at Marquette University Law school pointed out, Walker won the suburb by much larger margins — 33.6 % in 2018 and 45.6% in 2014.
Turnout in Dane County, the Democratic stronghold that includes Madison, also contributed significantly to Evers’ success. Evers won Dane County by 78.7% with 233,902 votes compared with the 220,053 votes he won when he was first elected in 2018.
But in the city of Milwaukee, another critical blue area for Democrats, turnout was down by about 40,000 votes from 2018. That was not good news for Barnes, a Milwaukee native.
As Evers supporters watched the returns on the big screen at the Orpheum theater, state Sen. Melissa Agard said some voters she spoke with during the campaign had told her they generally voted Republican, but were supporting Evers because they felt Republicans’ gerrymandered control of the Legislature was out of balance. Such ticket splitting might help account for the gap in vote totals between Evers and Barnes.
Last updated: 8:37 am
1 year ago
Michels concedes, Evers wins second term
Gov. Tony Evers won re-election Tuesday, setting the stage for the Democratic incumbent to spend another four years as Wisconsin’s chief executive.
His Republican challenger, Tim Michels, conceded the election at about 20 minutes after midnight Wednesday. With 92% of votes counted, Evers led 51% to 48% for Michels and a winning margin of roughly 77,000 votes.
“Unfortunately, the math doesn’t add up,” Michels told a disappointed crowd at his election watch party, held at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee. “I just called Gov. Evers and conceded. I wish the Evers family well.”
A few blocks away at Turner Hall in Milwaukee, a crowd of supporters for Mandela Barnes’ Senate campaign cheered as Michels’ concession speech came over the television. Barnes, meanwhile, was trailing Republican Sen. Ron Johnson by less than 40,000 percentage points.
A few minutes later, Milwaukee County supervisor Felisia Martin, on behalf of the Barnes campaign, told the crowd that the party would conclude without an announcement of the results in the Senate race, deferring that until later Wednesday morning.
“This race is far too close to call tonight,” Martin said. “There are tens of thousands of votes left to be counted. We will not silence any voice.”
She told partygoers to “keep that positive energy going, sending Mandela positive thoughts,” and added: “And who knows? Maybe by tomorrow morning we’ll be ready to declare a clear and decisive win for one of the candidates.”
Last updated: 7:23 am
1 year ago
Rally outside Milwaukee Central Count urges ‘Count every vote’
A group of progressive voters rallied outside of the Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee for a celebration Tuesday, about 15 minutes after the polls closed at 8 p.m. and as ballots were being counted inside the building, designated as the Central Count for the city. Polling places across the city reported high turnout in Tuesday’s voting, with some suggesting possibly record-breaking figures for a midterm election.
“A lot has happened this year, and a lot may still happen before this cycle is in the history books,” said Maurice Mitchell, national director of the group Working Families Power. “Because we know that when the polls close, there’s still some counting that needs to happen.” Mitchell stressed that as the polls close, voters should have two important goals. “The first is that every single person, no matter who wants to cast a ballot, no matter who they are, they can cast that ballot and be allowed to do so. Because our democracy depends on us having free and fair elections where the outcome is respected.”
Mitchell decried the “race-based attacks” that he said characterized campaigns this election cycle and said the rally was for voters to stand together in solidarity. In the weeks and months leading up to the Nov. 8 election, communities across Wisconsin experienced various incidents of harassment, threats, white supremacist organizing and other activity. Republican attack ads focused on crime and directed at Democrats Mandela Barnes, running for the U.S. Senate, and Gov. Tony Evers, running for reelection, drew criticism for racial overtones.
Christine Neuman-Ortiz, executive director of Voces de la Frontera Action, highlighted initial reports of “historic participation” when compared to the 2018 election. “Historic turnout in terms of the Black vote, the Latino vote, the youth vote, so lets celebrate that,” she said. “We’re part of a democracy movement, because that’s what we are. To say that we are not going back, to say that we are here to defend the democracy that so many have fought and died before us, and we’re going forward.”
Patty Yunk of the League of Progressive Seniors said she was proud of the high turnout numbers, but said she still feels a lot is on the line and the possibility of facism. “I think that we have to be very concerned,” she said, “and we have to start by saying that every vote counts. Every vote counts no matter who you are, no matter where you are.”
Shauntay Nelson of All Voting Is Local emphasized that while the polls had closed, ballots could be counted for hours to come. “I would say that over the next few days, particularly between now and Friday, we want every vote that was cast to be counted in the state of Wisconsin,” he said. Nelson, who oversees three other states besides Wisconsin for the advocacy group, stressed that engagement has to extend beyond Election Day. “We can’t be those who simply stopped at the ballot box.”
1 year ago
Robust turnout on UW-Madison campus
At around 4:03 p.m., Mike Verveer, the chief inspector at the UW-Madison Gordon Dining and Event Center polling site, called to report recent voting numbers and retrieve additional registration forms — they had less than 100 left.
“It’s chaos here, but it’s wonderful chaos,” Verveer said over the phone before delivering the most recent voting numbers. At the beginning of the hour, just over 900 students had cast their ballots. By the end of the hour, the number was over 1,000. Verveer, who has worked as a poll worker for more than 20 years, described it as a robust turnout at the campus.
With over 100 students voting in a one-hour span, lines were long at this location that mostly serves UW-Madison students, who are first-time voters and may not have previously registered to vote.
Verveer shepherded students in and out as quickly as possible, a process that started by ensuring students were at the correct polling location.
“Do all of you live at Lucky, Sellery or Witte? Lucky, Sellery or Witte?” Verveer would ask groups of students before a pause. Only people who lived in those campus dorms were allowed to vote at the site.
If a student needed to go somewhere else, Verveer would search their address, tell them the correct location and emphasize they had until 8 p.m. to vote there.
“Have any of you pre-registered in advance, using your dormitory address?” Verveer’s questioning continued. As students answered, he pointed them to the correct line, often the voter registration line, which at times stretched out to over 20 students.
Voter ID requirements also caused slight confusion for some out-of-state students, who would enter to vote before being told they needed to get in a different line for ID printing. This line at times wound down a set of stairs.
“They’re from Illinois, Minnesota, and you know all 50 states, and they need to do the separate process of getting a physical voter ID issued to them by the university identification office,” Verveer said. (Wisconsin law does not allow the use of regular student IDs for voting.)
Polling locations on campus employed people to sit outside voting rooms with a printer to quickly print ID’s for students who were eligible. Voter ID laws tightened during former Gov. Scott Walker’s administration, and out-of-state students without a Wisconsin driver’s license or other acceptable form of ID must get a specific school-issued ID in order to vote.
Verveer said since he works at on-campus locations with the printing accommodation, he hasn’t had anyone get discouraged enough not to vote. However, he said he does worry for out-of-state students who vote at off-campus locations without the printing accommodation.
“You think of the thousands of students that vote off-campus, that live and vote off campus,” Verveer said. “They don’t have the benefit of the student ID cards at their polling place.”
Those students must make an extra stop at an on-campus polling place to get an ID, before going to a second polling place where they are allowed to vote.
Last updated: 7:23 pm
1 year ago
No threats or harassment in Wauwatosa
The Wauwatosa Police Department is giving an all-clear in Tosa when it comes to threats or harassment at the polls. “I am not aware of any threats or harassment to poll workers or polling sites but we do have officers monitoring the polling sites today,” said Sgt. Abby Pavlik.
1 year ago
No problems in Lafayette County
In rural Darlington, the Lafayette County seat where Democrat Leah Spicer is trying to flip a perennial Democratic target in the Assembly, chief inspector Kristie Lueck says there were “no major hiccups.”
Nearly 700 of the city’s 1,200 or so registered voters had already cast a ballot and not a single absentee ballot had been rejected for missing information on the witness address line — though one had been thrown out because the voter died after returning his ballot.
There wasn’t a single poll observer at the city’s single polling place at city hall on Tuesday. In fact, Lueck says she’s only seen one observer ever in her ten years of working the polls.
1 year ago
Quiet day of voting so far in Milwaukee
Since 7 a.m., Milwaukee’s polling places have been operational with steady streams of residents coming out to vote. Very few issues have been reported, despite fears that voter intimidation or aggressive poll watchers might become an issue.
At Milwaukee’s Election Commission, one poll observer was given a warning by staff after taking pictures of voters casting absentee ballots and talking to voters as they left. The woman wouldn’t identify herself or say whether she was associated with a group.
Earlier in the day at Central Count in the Wisconsin Center, staff reminded poll observers over a loudspeaker not to discuss politics with staff, nor inquire as to who a poll worker would be voting for.
At one point, a poll observer crossed a boundary separating the walkway from the area where poll workers sit to take a picture of paperwork on a table. Media were specifically told to not take pictures of identifiable text on paperwork or documents, and the same rule applies to observers.
As the sun went down, there were reports of lines in some voting locations. In the suburb of Wauwatosa, the polling place at city hall had a line during the morning and afternoon hours. A polling site in the suburban village of Shorewood also had a steady line all day, with a 30 minute wait time shortly before sunset.
Last updated: 5:16 pm
1 year ago
‘Nice and calm and steady’ in Stoughton
1 year ago
Milwaukee mayor thanks election workers
Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson has been making rounds on election day to various polling sites in his city. The mayor, who was elected earlier this year after former Mayor Tom Barrett stepped down after nearly two decades, chronicled the visits on his official Twitter page.
Johnson praised staff across the city of Milwaukee for “ensuring a transparent, fair, and safe election for Milwaukeeans.” The mayor added in a tweet on his personal account: “I visited Parkview School, Zablocki Library, Gr. Holy Temple School, and Central Count to thank them for their service.”
More than 66,000 absentee ballots are being counted at the city’s Central Count, with about 6,680 ballots that have yet to be returned. Milwaukeeans who have not returned their absentee ballots can still deliver them to City Hall, room 501, before 5 p.m., or to Central Count at the Wisconsin Center before 7 p.m. to be counted. Officials estimate that counting will finish around 11 p.m.
Last updated: 4:27 pm
1 year ago
Real time Milwaukee County results when polls close
The Milwaukee County Election Commission will report results for the county of the 2022 general election in real time in the cafeteria of the Milwaukee County Courthouse Tuesday. Results will be live streamed on the county clerk’s Facebook page and posted to the county’s election commission website.
The commission will begin reporting results at around 8 p.m., with doors opening for the public at 7 p.m. Anyone going to the cafeteria to watch the results will have to go through security, which is normal for the courthouse.
Attendees are being encouraged to RSVP in advance via email to [email protected].
Milwaukee County will report the results of the races for Milwaukee County Sheriff, the Milwaukee County Clerk of Circuit Court, as well as the special election for the 2nd and 3d aldermanic districts for the city of Milwaukee. Four of the city’s 15 council seats are currently vacant.
The county also will report the county’s votes in the races for governor and lieutenant governor, U.S. Senate, state treasurer, attorney general and secretary of state. The county will also report totals for the in-county portions of the 1st, 4th and 5th Congressional districts, three state Senate districts and nearly 20 Assembly districts.
1 year ago
At Milwaukee Central Count, tight security and a squad of observers
As noon crept closer to 1 p.m. Tuesday, things appeared calm at Central Count in the city of Milwaukee. Normally held in a warehouse on south Kinnickinnic Avenue in Bayview, Central Count was moved to the Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee.
A lack of overt law enforcement presence didn’t detract from the fact that security was indeed tight. Milwaukee PD squads took up lone positions in nearby parking lots. At one point, an officer of the Milwaukee PD’s Traffic Safety Unit walked through the massive room where central count was being held, before entering in one of the side doors closed off to the general public.
Before entering the facility itself everyone needs to first go through airport-like security and metal detection. One worker who helped sign up media as they entered the Wisconsin Center told the Wisconsin Examiner that she’d never seen so much security for a central count before.
No protesters or demonstrators were around, either outside the building nor inside. Still, more than 10 observers lingered about the large room. On the right and left side of the room, several pods of poll workers sat at tables feeding ballots into machines. Media were instructed to not photograph anything that could be identifying, such as what a ballot or piece of paperwork says.
The poll workers’ tables were also behind modest barriers that no one was allowed to cross. At one point, however, a Wisconsin Examiner reporter noticed an observer go behind the barrier and take a picture of paperwork on a table near POD 8. When asked, staff members who were helping admit media said that did not appear to be proper.
Other observers attempted to have extended discussions with the poll workers. At one point, an announcement came over a loudspeaker reminding observers that they are not to ask poll workers who they’ll vote for or otherwise discuss politics with the workers.
One observer stated she wasn’t allowed to talk to media, but said she was with Wisconsin Dems. An observer who looked to be in his late 20s, Nathan Michael, agreed to an interview. “I wanted just to be a pair of eyes because I knew that I had been lazy about the whole process,” Michael told the Wisconsin Examiner. “You hear everything in the media from 2020 to 2018 and on, and I said, ‘You know what? I’m going to do my part,’ because I am blessed to live in a country where we have the freedom to vote.”
Michael added: “We don’t have a dictator, we actually have a constitutional republic, but we vote democratically.”
Michael, who is from the village of Tigerton, about two hours away from Milwaukee, said he wasn’t with an organization. “I just came with my friend,” he said. “Levy and I said, ‘Hey we’re two young dudes, lets try this and see what all the hubub is about.”
Shortly before speaking to the Wisconsin Examiner, Michael was pulled aside by an older woman whom he referred to as one of his “colleagues.” Several poll observers appeared to be working together, communicating with one another, pacing the room and taking notes and pictures of the process.
Michael said that although he didn’t observe anything concerning at the moment, “There are some things that I might have preference for or against, but right now it’s just to see what it’s like.”
Before visiting Central Count, Michael stated he didn’t know how certain aspects, like counting absentee ballots, worked. “So I said for something so important as choosing the political candidate, I should probably do my duty and know more because the bible says, ‘To whom much is given, much is required.’ So, the more you know, the more you’re required to do.”
Central Count officials reported that 66,996 absentee ballots were issued in the city of Milwaukee. Of those, 60,194 were returned by Nov. 7, leaving over 6,600 “outstanding” ballots. Wisconsin is just one of seven states that does not allow any absentee ballot processing before 7 a.m. on Election Day, when election workers begin processing the documents. City elections officials estimated that ballot counting could be completed between 10:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. Tuesday.
Last updated: 3:58 pm
1 year ago
Dane County runs out of ballots
In an early afternoon tweet, Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell said he already had to order more ballots in a sign that turnout was high in the largely Democratic county.
“Just had to reorder some ballots,” he wrote. “I ordered a lot of ballots. So take that as some sort of tea leaf.”
In an email from the Dane County Clerk’s office, the county reported that 47,551 ballots had been counted as of 11 a.m., which is approximately 27% of registered voters.
The county is on track for about 85% turnout. In 2018, Gov. Tony Evers carried the county with more than 220,000 votes.
The county also reported that voting was going smoothly so far after a morning check-in with local clerks. “There were no major issues or unusual problems and a number of the clerks reported steady to high turnout at their polling locations,” a news release stated.
In Sun Prairie, regularly one of the highest turnout communities in the state, municipal clerk Elena Hilby reported that the day had been “busy but really smooth.” An election observer with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, who said the party didn’t allow her to give her name, said the day had been going “nice and smooth.” The woman said she’d been at the polling place since before it opened at 7 a.m. and said she wishes everyone was required to work as a poll worker or election observer to see how meticulous the process really is. “I don’t think there’d be as much crying and yelling about fraud,” she said.
1 year ago
UW students excited by Election Day governor sighting
At around noon, UW-Madison students greeted Gov. Tony Evers excitedly, waving hello and requesting photos, as he walked down State Street.
“We were talking about voting and then I just go ‘yeah there’s our governor,” said Kaylee Stevenson, a junior from Minnesota.
“Just walking down the street!’” a friend added.
Stevenson along with three friends excitedly ran down the road to grab a photo with Evers. She said she was excited to see him because he is fighting for women’s rights, bodily autonomy and for climate justice.
Stevenson said she voted in Wisconsin because of how much is at stake here.
“I want everyone here to have the same rights, abortion rights, as Minnesota does,” Stevenson said. “So I think my vote matters more here.”
Abortion in Wisconsin is currently restricted due to a 1849 law that bans the procedure with no no exceptions for rape or incest. In contrast, abortion is protected in Minnesota under the state constitution.
Volunteers with the UW-Madison College Democrats, who were stationed outside a busy Colectivo Coffee shop asking passerbyers about their voting plans, also spoke with Evers.
Abby Maechling, a student volunteer, said she was not expecting to see Evers, but it was “super cool” to see him on Election Day. During the brief conversation, she said she wished the incumbent good luck and that he thanked her and other volunteers for their work.
Maechling said she got involved with volunteer efforts this year because she knows people don’t always pay as much attention to midterm elections as they do to presidential elections. She said issues like economic recovery after COVID-19, abortion, LGBTQ issues and public education funding make this year’s midterms just as important.
“Because we go to a public university, the state controls the budget for this school and the amazing professors that we have and the incredible research that we’re able to do and get involved in,” Maechling said. “Whoever ends up in office following this election will dictate the funding that goes into our education.”
She said she was outside working for a few hours before Evers walked by, and that the quick conversation served as a reminder of why she is doing what she’s doing.
“It’s just a reminder that politicians and the values that we’re voting on in this critical election are real people, and they are out here trying to campaign and fight for people on this campus and in the state of Wisconsin,” Maechling said.
1 year ago
UW-Madison students rush to the polls, observers look on
Last updated: 12:37 pm
1 year ago
Waukesha reports no disruptions of voting
At 11:49am, the Waukesha Police Department told Wisconsin Examiner that thus far, voting is playing out without issue in the city of Waukesha.
“As with all elections and events occurring in the city we take the safety of our community members as well as maintaining the integrity of the election process seriously,” said Waukesha Police Capt. Dan Baumann. “We encourage any community member to report concerns of harassment or safety concerns to us and we will respond diligently. We do have safety plans in place for our polling sites as well as sites that involve our public schools, keeping the academic environment safe for our children.”
The Waukesha area has become a flashpoint for tensions recently, as well as a focus of Republican campaigns. After an SUV plowed into the Waukesha Christmas Parade last year, leaving six dead and over sixty injured, Republican elected officials called for a stricter bail law. The driver of the SUV, Darrell Brooks, who was found guilty on 76 counts, had been released on $1,000 bail after he was charged in an unrelated domestic incident.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels has also campaigned on ending parole, mixing the issue of parole from prison with the issue of pre-trial detention and release on bail. White supremacist and neo-nazi organizations also have organized demonstrations around the parade tragedy, including dropping a banner near Waukesha’s transit center which read “resist Black terror.”
1 year ago
Gov. Tony Evers casts his vote
Gov. Tony Evers cast his ballot in his reelection campaign Tuesday morning at the Maple Bluff Village Center surrounded by other voters and a gaggle of cameras. In the sunlit gymnasium, the governor cast his vote under the Wisconsin flag.Touting his “I voted” sticker at a news conference afterward, he said the day feels similar to 2018 when he defeated Republican Gov. Scott Walker in a close election.
“It’s very similar to last time,” he said. “I knew right from the get-go this race, no matter who was my opponent, was going to be close. That’s just the way we are, we’re a purple state and everybody accepts that — I wish our Legislature wasn’t so gerrymandered but there’s nothing we can do about that. So I believe I’m going to win but it’s going to be likely a late night or early morning. But that is Wisconsin, it’s one of the great things about the state I guess, we’re not shy about voting and we’re not shy about our politics. I feel very confident in the future of Wisconsin.”
Running against Republican Tim Michels, the co-owner of the state’s largest construction company, Evers celebrated early reports of high turnout across the state as a rebuke of attacks on Wisconsin’s election system that have frequently come from Republicans, including Michels, former Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman and a number of state legislators, in recent years.
“First of all, it’s good for democracy. When democracy has been challenged, the way we talk and deal with it is by voting,” he said. “If we have lots of people voting, that’s a good thing for our democracy, so I’m hopeful.”
He added that he sees the high turnout not only as a potential benefit to his campaign, but as a forceful statement from Wisconsinites that they don’t agree with Republican critiques that the system can’t be trusted.
“If you think about all the crap some of the local folks have taken over the last couple of years — local people that are our friends and neighbors who are running polling places all across the state — all the grief they’ve taken and I think people are saying we trust our system, we’re going to vote and we’re going to make it happen,” he said. “I trust our system and I hope we have the largest turnout ever. Do I think that helps us? Yes, but more importantly it helps the people inside get the idea that Gableman was wrong and what they’ve been doing was right.”
Last updated: 12:19 pm
1 year ago
Milwaukee voting goes smoothly with no early lines
Voters in the Milwaukee-area began arriving as soon as the doors to polling places opened at 7 a.m. Over in the city of West Allis, a Milwaukee-area suburb, voters trickled alone or in pairs. Unlike during the 2020 presidential election, there were no long lines at the West Allis city hall. Even in the early hours of the 2020 presidential election, a line stretched out the door and around the block. One this Election Day, voters aren’t waiting nearly as long to cast their ballots. In the 2018 election for governor, 94.88% of registered voters in West Allis voted.
Polling places in the city of Milwaukee also seemed to be handling a stream of voters with ease and dozens of polling places open throughout the city. During the so-called Pandemic Primary of 2020, when only five polling places were open, a line stretched down the street and around the block at Washington High School in Milwaukee’s Sherman Park neighborhood. The predominantly African American neighborhood was full of enthusiastic voters who braved the uncertainty of voting during a pandemic.
By 9 a.m., Washington High School was also free of long lines. Voters streamed in and out of the high school, casting a total of 117 votes within the first two hours of Election Day voting. The situation was similar at Riverside High School, on Milwaukee’s East Side Riverwest neighborhood. Riverside High School had seen 228 ballots cast by 9:23 a.m.
A poll chaplain stood by at the North Division polling site, helping ensure people are registered to vote. At North Division High School, in a predominantly African American North Side neighborhood, about 100 ballots were cast in the first three hours of voting and more people were flowing in. In late October, the high school was visited by former U.S. President Barack Obama, who joined Gov. Tony Evers and U.S. Senate candidate Mandela Barnes for an early voting rally. Early figures from just a few of Milwaukee’s dozens of polling sites don’t include absentee ballots and early voting. According to the Milwaukee election commissions website, 28,661 early votes were counted in the city of Milwaukee. None of the polling sites showed signs of harassment, propaganda, or other issues that have arisen in recent elections.
Last updated: 11:14 am
1 year ago
A busy day for voters in Madison
At the Hawthorne Library on the East Side of Madison, chief inspector Megan Williamson says the polling place has been busy all morning and the group of “seasoned” poll workers had already processed about 150 absentee ballots and registered “a lot” of new voters.
On an Election Day in which fears of unruly poll observers have emerged, two of them sat quietly in the corner watching the voting process and scrolling through their phones. One of them refused to answer questions, saying “I’ve been told not to comment to the press by the organization I’m working for.” He would not say what organization that is.
1 year ago
Polls are open
On Tuesday, the polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m., though voters who are in line when polls close should remain in line and will be allowed to vote. Voters can register at the polling place on Election Day. To register, voters need to provide a valid ID or some other proof of residence such as a utility bill or bank statement.
1 year ago
More than 42 million Americans already have voted in the midterms
WASHINGTON — More than 42 million Americans by mid-afternoon on Monday had gotten a jump start on Tuesday’s midterm elections, casting their votes through mail-in ballots or by heading to in-person early voting centers.
The United States Election Project’s data showed a significant number of voters continue to prefer voting ahead of Election Day, possibly continuing a shift that began years ago but was forced upward in 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre cautioned Monday that because of the volume of early and mail-in votes, Americans may need to wait days or possibly even weeks until election workers can count all the votes and declare election winners.
“In modern elections, more and more ballots are being cast in early voting and also by mail. And many states don’t start counting those ballots … until after the polls close on Nov. 8,” Jean-Pierre said. “It’s important for us to all be patient while votes are being counted.”
So far, this year’s early voting numbers show 43% of the votes cast are from Democrats while 34% were from Republicans. The remaining 23% were from people without a major party affiliation, according to the election project from the University of Florida.
Steady rise in early voting
The number of people voting via mail ballots or early in person has steadily risen each midterm election year, starting at 14% in 2002 before inching up to 20% in 2006.
The numbers continued rising during the 2010 midterm elections, when 26% of voters used alternative voting methods, either early in-person or mail-in ballots. During the 2014 midterm elections, the number of early or mail-in voters rose to 31% before reaching 40% during the 2018 midterm election, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
That upward trend was before the COVID-19 pandemic scuttled many people’s routines during the 2020 presidential election, leading to a record 69% of Americans voting alternatively, either through early in-person voting or by mail-in ballots, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Florida, Georgia early voting
Texas, Florida, California, Georgia and North Carolina voters have cast the most early ballots per state.
In Florida, nearly 5 million people have voted early, starting to determine who will win the state’s gubernatorial race as well as one of its U.S. Senate seats and the 28 U.S. House seats.
More Republicans in the Sunshine State have cast ballots than Democrats, flipping the national trend. GOP voters have cast 43% of the early votes compared to 37% from Democrats and 20% from people not registered as part of a major political party.
Florida’s mail-in ballots top the number of people who have voted early compared to in person, 2.5 million to 2.3 million, respectively.
In Georgia, a battleground where Democrats are looking to keep the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Raphael Warnock against a challenge from Republican candidate Herschel Walker, more than 2.5 million people have voted early.
The vast majority of those votes, 2.3 million, were from in-person early voting while the remaining 220,000 people voted by mail.
Georgia, unlike some other states, shares information on the age, gender and race of its early voters.
So far, 55% of early voters in the Peach State are women, outpacing men by 1.4 million ballots to 1.1 million ballots.
Roughly half of the early ballots cast in Georgia come from people between the ages of 41 and 65, with another 33% of early votes from people over 65. Voters between 26 and 40 have cast 12% of the early votes with 18-to-25 year-old voters casting the remaining 6% of votes.
Non-Hispanic white people have cast 57% of the early votes so far in Georgia. Non-Hispanic Black voters have submitted 29% of early votes, making up the second largest early voting bloc in the state. Hispanic and Asian American voters each make up 2% of early voters for a total of 4% while Native Americans cast less than 1% of the state’s early votes. The remaining votes were from people with “other, multiple, or unknown” racial characteristics.
Early votes in North Carolina
In North Carolina, where Republicans are favored to win the open U.S. Senate seat, nearly 2.2 million people have cast early votes with 2 million of those cast in person and the rest from mail-in ballots.
Thirty-eight percent of those votes came from registered Democratic voters while 31% were from Republicans and the remaining 31% of votes were cast by people not affiliated with a major party.
Voters between 41 and 65 cast the most early votes, making up 43%, while people older than 65 have cast 40% of North Carolina’s early votes. People between 26 and 40 cast about 13% of the votes while those from 18 to 25 have cast 5% of the early votes.
Fifty-two percent of early votes in the Tar Heel State have come from women, while the rest have been by men or people without a gender affiliation on their voter registration.
Non-Hispanic white people account for roughly 72% of early votes in North Carolina while non-Hispanic Black voters make up 19% of early votes cast. Hispanic voters account for 1.5%, Asian Americans make up 1.2% and Native Americans have cast less than 1% of early votes. The remaining 6% of early votes came from people with “other, multiple, or unknown” racial characteristics.
Record turnout possible
Given the more than 42 million early votes cast nationwide, the 2022 midterm elections could be on track to host record turnout, depending on how many people vote on Election Day as well.
More than 158.4 million Americans, or about 63% of the voting age population, voted in the 2020 presidential election, according to data from the Pew Research Center.
And the last midterm elections in 2018 saw 53% of U.S. voting-age citizens cast ballots, the highest turnout for a midterm election in 40 years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Voting in this midterm election could be higher than past midterm elections as well, according to a Pew Research Center survey of registered voters that showed 80% of Republicans said they are “extremely” or “very” motivated to vote compared to 79% of Democratic backers.
Drew DeSilver, senior writer at Pew Research Center, wrote that “one unknown factor” in determining how many people vote this year will be “how the many state voting-law changes since 2020 will affect turnout.”
“While some states have rolled back early voting, absentee or mail-in voting, and other rule changes that made voting easier in 2020 — or adopted new rules that make voting more difficult or inconvenient — other states have expanded ballot access,” DeSilver wrote.
But DeSilver also cautioned that even if the United States sees a record midterm election turnout year, the nation “likely will still trail many of its peers in the developed world in voting-age population turnout.”
“In fact,” DeSilver wrote, “when comparing turnout among the voting-age population in the 2020 presidential election against recent national elections in 49 other countries, the U.S. ranks 31st — between Colombia (62.5%) and Greece (63.5%).”
State court rulings on ballots
The number of ballots cast in person this year, 20 million, is relatively close with the 23 million voters who have returned mail-in ballots.
Not all mail-in ballots will be counted, however.
In Pennsylvania, the state Supreme Court ruled that county boards of elections must “refrain from counting any absentee and mail-in ballots received for the November 8, 2022 general election that are contained in undated or incorrectly dated outer envelopes.”
In Wisconsin, an appeals court and a circuit judge have rejected attempts to get mail-in ballots counted if they include a partial address of the witness.
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