Chippewa Valley (WQOW) – The early voting polls closed at 5 p.m. on Friday, and the number of voters who marked their ballots early, skyrocketed since the last midterm election four years ago.
As we’ve reported before, experts expect record turnout for this year’s midterm election. The numbers in the Chippewa Valley are reflecting that. In the city of Eau Claire, City Clerk Carrie Riepl reported a total of nearly 4,000 early voters. In 2014, that number was 3,000. In Chippewa Falls, 1,124 applications were issued. In 2014, there was 850. In Menomonie, there were 921 this year. In 2014, there were 516.
The Wisconsin Elections Commission reported record absentee voting in Wisconsin just Wednesday, with 378,000 votes. These high numbers are also foreshadowing a busy day on Tuesday for polling places, and election clerks are excited to see voters interested.
“People are interested in what is happening in our country and they want to get out there and express their votes and opinions,” Riepl said. “It’s a wonderful thing.”
Eau Claire will be bringing in five to 10 more poll workers at each of their 20 polling places. Chippewa Falls is adding two workers to each of their seven wards, leaving seven workers per ward. In Menomonie, the same, adding two additional workers to the city’s six wards, and an additional six registration officers to student wards.
The polls will be open on Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.