Absentee voting played a big role in turning out the vote April 7 in Douglas County.

With a record number of absentee ballots requested in Wisconsin in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, about 52% of Douglas County voters took advantage of the opportunity to vote early or by mail.

In Superior, 63% of the ballots cast in the spring primary and presidential preference primary were cast early or at home.

Turnout overall was down when compared to the 2016 presidential primary. About 44% of Douglas County voters cast ballots this spring, and turnout was slightly lower at 42% in Superior. In 2016, 59% of registered voters in Douglas County cast ballots, and 55% in Superior.

With a special election coming up May 12 for the 7th District congressional seat, state Sen. Janet Bewley, D-Mason, acknowledged disappointment this week that both chambers of the Wisconsin Legislature didn’t accept amendments to the COVID-19 relief package that would have waived the voter ID requirement and provided aid to ensure voters could have their ballots mailed to them during the 2020 election cycle.

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“The Democratic perspective is this is just not one little point in time,” Bewley said. “We need to change how we do things in our state, starting with voting. It was abundantly clear that the typical way of voting — going to a polling place and voting — is not the way we do it in a pandemic.”

And she encouraged voters to act now if they are planning to vote in upcoming elections in May, August and November.

“Right now, you can request an absentee ballot for the May election,” Bewley said. “I have mine. I just got it yesterday so I’m going to vote right now.”

Registered voters can request a ballot at myvote.wi.gov.

In races statewide, former Vice President Joe Biden beat U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont in the Democratic presidential primary, and Dane County Judge Jill Karofsky beat incumbent Justice Daniel Kelly for a 10-year term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Superior City Council

1st District

Kalee Hermanson, 342

Nicholas Ledin, 383

3rd District

Warren Bender, 344

Kelly Schoen, 205

5th District

Amanda Foster, 369

Brent Fennessey, 469

Superior referendum

“Barring certain exceptions determined necessary for safety and subject to applicable state and local laws, should the city allow the operation of ATV (All-terrain vehicles) and UTV (Utility task vehicles) on its streets and alleys.

Yes, 2180

No, 3304

Douglas County Board

14th District

John Lohse, 252

Pat Ryan, 341

15th District

Susan Hendrickson, 319

Jon Allen, 210

18th District

Joseph Moen, 298

Daniel Corbin, 263

Lake Nebagamon Village Board (3)

Adam Buchanan, 168

Bob Anderson, 209

Jim Smith, 188

Swan Dawson, 120

Jason Vee, 213