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Elections agency director predicts 15 percent voter turnout in August primary

Shawn Johnson, Wisconsin Public Radio

The head of the state's elections agency is predicting voter turnout of 15 percent for Wisconsin's Aug. 12 partisan primary.

Government Accountability Board Director Kevin Kennedy said partisan primaries are typically low-turnout affairs, and he expects this one will be, too.

“It's the die-hard voters who are there to nominate candidates for their political party,” he said. “And for most voters, this is a bit more inside politics. You have habitual voters who are generally very informed who come to this, but you don't have your casual voter like you will for the November election.”

Kennedy said highly contested statewide primary races can sometimes push turnout higher, but generally not by much. For example, less than 20 percent of Wisconsin's voting age population turned out to vote in 2010 when there was a Republican primary for governor.