The City of Madison and Dane County saw a record number of votes cast for the 2020 Presidential Election, with residents voting absentee, early or in person at the polls Tuesday.
According to the Wisconsin State Journal, nearly 2 million Wisconsin residents had voted by mail or early in person prior to Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3. The 2020 early votes represented about 65% of the total votes cast in the 2016 election.
In Dane County alone, 345,604 votes — approximately 80% of the county’s voting-age population — were tallied, surpassing the 2016 election by 34,047 votes. When asked if there were any unexpected hiccups, Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell said the big day went as planned.
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“It actually went very smoothly, McDonell said. “A few places took a while to get through some of the envelopes, but otherwise it was a very smooth election.”
In Madison, 161,836 votes — approximately 75% of the city’s voting-age population— were recorded, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
Madison City Clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl said to Channel 3000 an hour before polls were scheduled to close Tuesday that 90 of the city’s 92 polling places had counted all of their absentee ballots. This was accomplished with the help of over 5,000 poll workers, Witzel-Behl said.
When it comes to the integrity of the numbers, McDonell said Wisconsin is both efficient and accurate in its counting. McDonell said in the event of a recount, the state’s overall electoral will likely remain the same.
“In each of the last recounts, the vote total essentially only changed by a handful of votes,” McDonell said. “Usually, those are ballots that were marked incorrectly. No one should expect the vote total to change whether or not there is a recount.”
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According to the Associated Press, recounts in Wisconsin have historically changed the vote tally by just a few hundred votes. Nonetheless, McDonell said the office is prepared for a recount.
“We did this four years ago so we’ll be getting ready for that,” McDonell said.