Dylan Scott is a GOVERNING staff writer.E-mail: email@example.com
Wisconsin election officials are projecting a record level of voter turnout next Tuesday when the recall election for Gov. Scott Walker is held, reports the Wisconsin State Journal.
Officials predict that between 60 percent to 65 percent of the state's registered voters (between 2.6 million and 2.8 million people) will cast their ballot, according to the newspaper. The 2010 gubernatioral election, in which Walker beat his current challenger, Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, saw a turnout of 49.7 percent. The state's highest gubernatorial election turnout in the last half century was 52.4 percent in 1962.
The state had already issued more than 130,000 absentee ballots as of mid-Tuesday -- one week away from the election, according to the State Journal.
As Governing reported in its May issue, Wisconsin's recall elections -- which began last year with attempted recalls of nine state legislators -- have become a symbolic battle for both parties. Walker's recall was incited by his -- and his fellow Republicans' -- support for a new state law that takes away most public employee workers' collective bargaining rights and requires them to contribute more to their pensions and health care. Democrats spent $23.4 million during the 2011 recall elections ($18.6 million from outside special interest groups) and Republicans spent $20.5 million ($15.9 million from outside special interest groups).
Spending for Walker's recall election surpassed previous records for spending on a single political race in Wisconsin earlier this month when it reached $42 million, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Again, a significant portion came from outside political action committees and the national political parties.