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Winter storm not keeping polls from opening

(NBC15)
Published: Feb. 20, 2018 at 8:08 AM CST
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A winter storm apparently is not keeping polls from opening for Wisconsin's Supreme Court primary.

Administrator Michael Haas of the Wisconsin Elections Commission said late Tuesday morning he has not heard of any polling place opening late because of the weather.

The National Weather Service says heavy rain started falling Monday night in southern and southeastern Wisconsin, causing some road closures, while freezing rain glazed roads in central Wisconsin. Ashland in northern Wisconsin reports 11 inches of snow as of Tuesday morning.

Haas says anecdotally, voter turnout so far is light. He says in some places the state Supreme Court primary is the only race on the ballot.

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Voters are casting their ballots in the state Supreme Court primary.

Attorney Tim Burns and circuit judges Rebecca Dallet and Michael Screnock are vying to replace Justice Michael Gableman on the court. The primary is Tuesday. The two-highest vote getters will advance to the April general election.

The race is officially nonpartisan but Screnock has Republican support. Dallet and Burns are trying to appeal to Democrats. Burns has openly stated his position on a number of topics, an unusual tactic in a judicial race.

Kerry Koppen of Sun Prairie says voted for Screnock on Tuesday. He believes Screnock is the least partisan.

Marie True, a Sun Prairie stay-at-home mother, voted for Dallet because she feels Dallet is a progressive woman.

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The Wisconsin Supreme Court primary features two candidates trying to win over more liberal voters and one who is squarely backed by conservatives.

The two highest vote-getters in Tuesday's primary will face one another in the April 3 election.

The winner will replace retiring Justice Michael Gableman on the court. He is part of a five-justice conservative majority. There are two liberal justices.

Madison attorney Tim Burns and Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Rebecca Dallet were trying to appeal to Democrats in the race. Sauk County Circuit Judge Michael Screnock has the backing of the state Republican Party, anti-abortion groups and the National Rifle Association.

Burns has taken the unusual approach of stating his position on several issues. His opponents say that could force him to not hear cases before the Supreme Court on those topics.