Further Analysis of the Election Outcome, Including Comparison of In-person vs. Absentee Voting for 2020 vs. 2016 (Plus a few corrections)

A comparison of the 2016 Spring Primary/Presidential Preference Election with the same 2020 election is shown in the table below. The dramatically lower turnout this year (approximately 28.8% of pre-registered voters plus 108 same day registrants) was undoubtedly influenced by several factors, including: 1) UW-W in-person classes having been suspended, 2) In 2016 there were competitive Presidential races in both parties, and 3) The COVID-19 pandemic.

YearTotal ballots castIn-person election dayAbsentee ballots castAbsentee ballots issued
202019724451527 (77% of total)Approx. 1800

Per City Clerk Michele Smith, sadly, approximately 72 absentee ballots were found to be ineligible to be counted. This unusually high number was likely a result of many people voting absentee for the first time. 17 lacked the voter’s signature on the envelope, 40 had no witness signature/address, 7 were postmarked after April 7, and 8 were received after April 7 with no postmark.

Having reviewed the final reports, a few corrections are in order.

CORRECTION: THE VOTE TOTAL IN WALWORTH COUNTY DISTRICT 4, OF 704 TO 401 WAS CORRECT, BUT ALL VOTES WERE IN THE CITY. (Previous report:”The only local race that was contested was for Walworth County Supervisor, District 4, where incumbent Jerry Grant led Kerstan Roeven by 690 to 373 votes. Including township votes, Grant won by 704 to 401.”)

CORRECTION: THE BANNER OMITTED A SECOND CONTESTED WALWORTH COUNTY SUPERVISOR RACE, IN DISTRICT 3. Brian Holt received 203 votes, and Tim Brellenthin, 116. Holt was declared the winner over incumbent Brellenthin, with the county-wide vote being 1211 to 1143.

CORRECTION/ADDITION: A few percentages (designated by a *) in the tables below have been changed slightly. Additionally, the raw number votes for the Democratic presidential candidates receiving less than 2% have been added.

Results in the Democratic Presidential Preference Primary:

CandidateWhitewaterState (96% of precincts reporting)
Joe Biden58% *63%
Bernie Sanders37% *31%
Elizabeth Warren 2%1%
Raw number of votes for other candidates: Amy Klobuchar (8), Andrew Yang (8), Michael R. Bloomberg (8), Pete Buttigieg (5), Tulsi Gabbard (3), Uninstructed (8), Write-in (2)

Wisconsin Supreme Court

CandidateWhitewaterState (96% of precincts reporting)
Jill J. Karofsky68%54%
Daniel Kelly32%46%

Court of Appeals Judge, District 2

CandidateWhitewaterDistrict (100% reporting)
Lisa Neubauer73%54%
Paul Bugenhagen Jr27%46%

State Referendum (“Marsy’s Law”)

WhitewaterState (96% of precincts reporting)
Yes76% *75%
No24% * 25%

Common Council: Three incumbents were reelected without opposition: Jim Allen (at Large), Matthew Schulgit (District 2), and Lynn Binnie (District 4).

Whitewater Unified School Board: There were three open seats, with three candidates. Incumbents Casey Judd and Steven J. Ryan were reelected, and former Board member Thayer A. Coburn was returned to office.

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