With election day just a week away, Madison is seeing a record level of early and absentee ballots.
So far this year, the city clerk’s office has issued 32,332 absentee ballots for this election. Of those ballots, 28,664 have already been returned to the clerk’s office to be counted at the polls on election day. And included in those numbers are 22,387 ballots that were cast in person, in the clerk office, in the library, or on campus, according to city clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl.
Mayor Paul Soglin said at a press conference Tuesday Madison will undoubtedly set a new record in terms of early voting. He thinks getting 70 percent of registered voters is well within reach. But he’d like to see the city hit 75 percent.
“If every Madisonian participates, doesn’t matter who you’re voting for. But if every Madisonian who is eligible registered would get out there, we can set, by a large margin, a new voter turnout record for Madison. And it could be a national standard that we set,” Soglin said.
Soglin feels national hot button issues facing voters are helping to drive early voter turnout.
He also says early and in-person voting has been made earlier.
“As we make it easier, more accessible and people come to understand the importance of their patriotic duty. Especially in light of fanatics and some really troubled people who are trying to take that democratic vote away from us. This is a way of asserting yourself and saying, I won’t be intimidated,” he said.
Soglin says they’re striving to do whatever they can to get as many people to vote and achieve the highest possible voter turnout.
According to Soglin, each year Madison is building a larger voter base. He says our democracy functions and thrives on the participation of those eligible voters showing up at every election.
For more go to WKOW: https://wkow.com/news/top-stories/2018/10/30/early-voting-in-madison-reaches-record-level-soglin-says/