Walker wins despite Douglas County voteDouglas County voters didn’t follow the state when it came to casting ballots in Tuesday’s historic election.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
Douglas County voters didn’t follow the state when it came to casting ballots in Tuesday’s historic election.
Almost 2.5 million people — about 58 percent of eligible voters — cast ballots Tuesday in the effort to oust Republican Gov. Scott Walker, according to the Associated Press.
It was a rematch that drew nearly 364,000 more voters to the polls statewide than the 2010 gubernatorial election, when Walker first faced a challenge from Democrat and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board had predicted up to 65 percent of eligible voters would go to the polls, but in Douglas County — where voters cast two votes for Barrett for every one cast in Walker’s favor — turnout was 69 percent. While 65 percent of city residents cast a ballot, 75 percent of rural residents headed to the polls in Tuesday’s historic election.
About 94 percent of registered voters who cast their ballot at the Billings Park Civic Center voted Tuesday.
Only two districts — both in the city of Superior — had turnout lower than state projections; only one precinct had fewer voters show up at the polls than the statewide average.
Douglas County was one of 12 counties that came out in favor of Barrett. The remaining 60 gave Walker his victory.
Invariably, the high voter turnout in Douglas County favored Barrett, despite his defeat statewide, and turnout statewide that exceeded even the 2010 gubernatorial race in which Walker defeated Barrett 17 months ago.
While the governor garnered 116 new votes in Douglas County over his 2010 election win, Barrett received more than 3,000 additional votes in Tuesday’s recall election than he did in November 2010.
Walker won eight of the 21 rural districts during his gubernatorial bid in 2010. That was down to five — with one district tied Tuesday night — in his bid to hang onto his seat.
Highland and Gordon voters came out in favor of Barrett when both communities had favored Walker in 2010. Lake Nebagamon voters, who handily defeated Barrett in 2010 with 59 percent of voters favoring Walker in 2010, cast an equal number of votes for Barrett and Walker Tuesday.
Statewide, Walker picked up 205,509 more votes in Tuesday’s historic recall election than he gained to win the seat initially in his 2010 election bid, while Barrett only gained 158,482 votes across the state over his 2010 loss to Walker.
Walker is only the third governor in the nation to face a recall; he’s the first to fend off that effort.
Still, Douglas County voters didn’t turn out with the same force as they did in 2008, when President Barack Obama was elected to office. Then, nearly 88 percent — 24,115 — of Douglas County voters headed to the polls.