UPDATE: Long Lines For Historic Wisconsin Recall Election; Walker, Barrett Vote

UPDATED: Tuesday, June 5, 2012 --- 7:30p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin polls are scheduled to close at 8 p.m. but state election officials are stressing that anyone in line then will still get to vote in the state's historic recall contests.

The state Government Accountability Board has been reporting long lines and heavy turnout as Republican Gov. Scott Walker and four other GOP officeholders face recall challengers. Walker faces a rematch with Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, whom he beat in 2010 by five percentage points. The board expects up to 65 percent of Wisconsin's eligible voters to turn out.

Board spokesman Reid Magney says anyone waiting in line when the polls close at 8 p.m. will still be allowed to register if necessary and vote.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Tuesday, June 5, 2012 --- 5:25 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Voters participating in the Wisconsin recall election are about evenly divided on the changes made to collective bargaining for state government workers.

Preliminary exit polls conducted Tuesday for The Associated Press show that about half of voters say they approve of the changes while half disapprove. About 4 in 10 on each side say they feel that way strongly.

About half of voters say they have a favorable opinion of unions for government workers. Just over 4 in 10 view them unfavorably.

The vast majority of voters think recall elections should be allowed in at least some cases, though most feel they are appropriate only in cases of official misconduct.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Tuesday, June 5, 2012 --- 3:35 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says the arrival of voting day is almost a relief. He says he thinks most people in his state are "happy to have the election over."

They're deciding today whether the Republican governor will stay in office, or whether he'll be recalled in favor of Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett -- who is applauding voters for turning out in large numbers.

Walker is trying to be the first U.S. governor to successfully fend off a recall. The effort to remove him from office was launched by Democrats and labor activists after Walker and his Republican allies in the state Legislature were able to remove collective bargaining rights from most state employees.

Polls have indicated that there are few undecided voters. Democrats have been trying to rally the same level of support that saw the state Capitol overrun with Walker opponents last year.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Tuesday, June 5, 2012 --- 2:15 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Governor Scott Walker says voting day in the recall election almost comes as a relief.

After Walker cast his ballot this morning in the Milwaukee suburb of Wauwatosa, the Republican governor said he thinks most people are happy to have the election over and "want to have their TVs back" following weeks of political ads.

His challenger -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett -- voted at the city's French Immersion school. He's applauding voters for turning out in force and for being prepared to wait a while to cast their ballots. The Democrat says voters are engaged and he considers the long lines "a very encouraging sign."

Turnout is key. Polls indicate there are few undecided voters.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Tuesday, June 5, 2012 --- 12:15 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board reports long lines and heavy turnout for Tuesday's historic recall election.

The board tweeted that no widespread problems have been reported in vote gathering around the state. But it does have one report of a damaged tabulator that poll workers found in the Marathon County Village of Rothschild. Police were called to investigate.

Elections officials expect up to 65 percent of Wisconsin's eligible voters to turn out for the recall election. Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch are facing opponents, as are three Republican senators.

Walker faces a rematch with Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, whom he beat in 2010 by 5 percentage points, as he tries to become the first U.S. governor to successfully fend off a recall.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Tuesday, June 5, 2012 --- 9:50 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Voters are reporting long lines at many Wisconsin polling places in a historic recall election driven by angry public employees who lost some collective bargaining rights as Republican Gov. Scott Walker pushed through a bill aimed at reducing the state's budget deficit.

Democrats and labor activists gathered more than 900,000 signatures to force the recall. Not all public workers voted against Walker. Seventy-three-year-old retired state employee Jerry Darda of Madison said he voted for the governor because the recall was "ridiculous" and that Walker should be able to finish his job.

Darda says he's a fiscal conservative who has supported Democrats in the past, but also voted for Walker in 2010. Walker faces the same challenger, Democrat Tom Barrett in 2010, and won by 5 percentage points.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Tuesday, June 5, 2012 --- 8:45 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Wisconsin's historic recall election is expected to draw large numbers of voters to the polls Tuesday.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker and his wife, Tonette, waited in line as the polls opened at 7 a.m. before voting in the Milwaukee suburb of Wauwatosa. His Democratic challenger Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett voted at the Milwaukee French Immersion school.

Milwaukee Elections Commission director Susan Edman says her technicians are reporting lines at many city voting places. Turnout of 65 percent statewide is predicted.

One polling station in Madison had a line about 30 people deep shortly after it opened.

Retired state employee Jerry Darda of Madison says he voted for Walker because he ought to finish his term. John Ipsen of Madison voted for Barrett, saying he opposes Walker's policies.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Tuesday, June 5, 2012 --- 8:25 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Wisconsin's historic recall election is expected to draw large numbers of voters to the polls Tuesday.

Polls show Republican Gov. Scott Walker in a tight race with Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Walker and his wife, Tonette, waited in line as the polls opened at 7 a.m. before voting in the Milwaukee suburb of Wauwatosa. Barrett voted at the Milwaukee French Immersion school.

Milwaukee Elections Commission director Susan Edman says her technicians are reporting lines at many city voting places. State elections officials predict up to 65 percent of eligible voters will turn out at the polls.

The vote is a culmination of more than a year of turmoil in Wisconsin after Walker pushed through a bill cutting collective bargaining rights for most public employees to balance the state budget.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Tuesday, June 5, 2012 --- 8:05 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Wisconsin's historic recall election is expected to draw large numbers of voters to the polls Tuesday.

Polls show Republican Gov. Scott Walker in a tight race with Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Walker and his wife, Tonette, waited in line as the polls opened at 7 a.m. before voting in the Milwaukee suburb of Wauwatosa. Barrett was to vote at the Milwaukee French Immersion school.

Milwaukee Elections Commission director Susan Edman says her technicians are reporting lines at many city voting places. State elections officials predict up to 65 percent of eligible voters will turn out at the polls.

The vote is a culmination of more than a year of turmoil in Wisconsin after Walker pushed through a bill cutting collective bargaining rights for most public employees to balance the state budget.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Tuesday, June 5, 2012 --- 7:40 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Polling places are open in Wisconsin for a historic recall election that's expected to draw large numbers of voters.

Gov. Scott Walker is only the third governor in U.S. history to face a recall vote. One thing on which he and challenger Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett agree is that it will all come down to voter turnout.

Milwaukee Elections Commission executive director Susan Edman says her technicians are reporting lines at many city voting places as the polls opened Tuesday. State elections officials predict 60 percent to 65 percent of eligible voters will turn out at the polls.

The vote is a culmination of more than a year of turmoil in Wisconsin after Walker pushed through a bill cutting collective bargaining rights for most public employees to balance the state budget.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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Posted Tuesday, June 5, 2012 --- 7:10 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Polling places are open in Wisconsin for a historic recall election that's expected to draw large numbers of voters.

Gov. Scott Walker is only the third governor in U.S. history to face a recall vote. One thing on which he and challenger Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett agree is that it will all come down to turnout -- which candidate has motivated more supporters to go to the polls.

State elections officials predict 60 percent to 65 percent of eligible voters will turn out at the polls. The average turnout in a midterm election for governor is 47 percent.

The vote is a culmination of more than a year of turmoil in Wisconsin after Walker pushed through a bill cutting collective bargaining rights for most public employees to balance the state budget.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


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