La Crosse County Clerk suggests higher voter turnout in the county this year

LA CROSSE CO., Wis. (WKBT) – Out of roughly 76,000 registered voters in La Crosse County, there is already about a 55 percent voter turnout in the county.

COVID has kept the vast majority of voters in La Crosse County away from the polls, but some are voting in-person anyway.

“I just feel like, you know, being in-person voting is something that I’ve always done and it’s something I wanted to continue to support,” voter Jordan Freit said.

“There were some concerns with the mail system for a while there,” Aaron Corbisier said.

“It was interesting,” first-time voter Renee Visgar said. “All of the election process, and figuring out if I was going to do a mail-in option or come in today.”

“I vote because it’s a privilege and a duty to do so,” voter Dale Swenson said. “I think we’re going to have a record turnout.”

Four years ago, the county had an 83-percent turnout rate.

“I think now they know who they’re voting for, so now they’re going to get out and vote more,” La Crosse County Clerk Ginny Dankmeyer said.

Out of the roughly 45,000 absentee ballots requested, more than 42,000 have been returned.

“A handful of those are probably ones to be rejected because they’re missing a signature, the voter or the witness,” Dankmeyer said.

Dankmeyer says polling places throughout the county had lines out the door when the polls opened.

“Throughout the day, it’s just been steady,” Dankmeyer said. “Not necessarily lines out the door anymore, but just steady voters always in there going through the lines to vote.”

As for when all the results in the county will be counted, it’s going to be a while.

“We hope by 3-4 a.m. we have all the results in,” Dankmeyer said. “But we can’t say for sure right now because of how steady the polls are.”

Dankmeyer says there are fewer registered voters in the county this year, but thinks the amount of first-time voters and the political climate we’re in will make for a higher turnout.

In 2016, voter turnout in Wisconsin was about 67 percent.

The highest turn out rate ever in Wisconsin was in 2004, when more than 73 percent of registered voters participated.

Before election day, about 1.9 million million voters in Wisconsin cast their absentee ballots.