Voter turnout in Dane County

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Voting in local elections like Tuesday's spring election is usually lower than national elections. Turnout in Dane County has risen in the last few years, but Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell still expects it to be lower than the 2018 midterm elections.

Voting booth, Photo Date: November 5, 2012 / Cropped Photo: Lindsay D’Addato / WyoFile / CC BY 2.0 / (MGN)

As of 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, turnout in Madison was just over 27 percent. The last update from Dane County was at 11 a.m., when turnout was at 13 percent.

"When you compare to previous elections and the rest of the state, I think Dane County will be substantially ahead in turnout," McDonell said.

Even though turnout can be low in smaller elections, some voters are making sure to get out to the polls.

Emile Shartle, a Madison resident, said she makes sure she never misses an election. Her first election was a presidential election, but smaller ones are important too.

"They're just as important as the presidential elections or anything else if not more, because they impact our daily lives and our local community more than others might," Shartle said.

Erica Garcia-Lago, another Madison resident, voiced a similar opinion. Garcia-Lago voted with an absentee ballot just in case she could not make it out to vote on Election Day.

"These are the candidates that are involved in affairs related to our schools, decisions made in our local courts," Garcia-Lago said.

McDonell said that 13 percent turnout Tuesday morning is similar to the 2018 spring election. That election ended with 43 percent turnout.

"We saw high turnout last year for Supreme Court and it looks like the same pattern this year," McDonell said.

Garcia-Lago said these smaller elections are where she feels she can make an impact.

"The big elections, our United States president, the presidential elections, they get a lot of attention, there's a lot of money behind those elections, but our local elections are where we can make change in our local communities," she said.

Polls close at 8 p.m. on Tuesday.