Local voter turnout hits 87% in charged election

Polling places called ‘crazy busy’ as Ozaukee County residents line up to cast ballots in hotly contested races

A THRONG OF people stood in line at Port Washington City Hall Tuesday morning to vote in the midterm election. Turnout throughout the county was brisk, with almost 87% of registered voters casting ballots in one of the most contentious elections in recent history. Photo by Sam Arendt
Ozaukee Press staff

Ozaukee County voters turned out in droves Tuesday to cast their ballots in what was one of the most contentious elections in recent history, with 86.8% of registered voters visiting the polls.

That’s up significantly from the last midterm election in 2014, when 78% of eligible voters cast ballots.

“It’s crazy busy,” Port Washington Clerk Susan Westerbeke said mid-afternoon Tuesday. “We’re getting out the vote.”

By 1:30 p.m., she said, 52% of city voters had cast ballots — a count that didn’t include absentee ballots or early voting.

At Grand Avenue United Methodist Church, it took poll workers between four and five hours to process the absentee ballots, a task they take on when they aren’t busy with in-person voting, Westerbeke noted.

But things were going smoothly, Westerbeke said. 

“We’ve got a lot of new registrations,” she said.   

And, bucking the trend across the state, county voters supported Republican candidates in every race.

In the gubernatorial race, county voters supported incumbent Republican Scott Walker over Democrat Tony Evers, 32,068-18,392.

Evers won the job with 50% of the vote statewide, compared to Walker’s 48%.

County voters supported Republican Brad Schimel over Democrat Josh Kaul, 31,495-18,747, for attorney general even as Kaul won the statewide election with 50% of the vote. Schimel took 49%.

In Ozaukee County, Republican Leah Vukmir defeated incumbent U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat, 29,479-21,462, but Baldwin retained her seat with 55% of the statewide vote. Vukmir received 45% of the votes cast.

But county voters supported the winning candidate in the Congressional race, backing incumbent Republican Glenn Grothman over Democrat Dan Kohl 30,598-20,123. Grothman handily won re-election to the District 6 seat, garnering 56% of the votes cast to Kohl’s 44%.

They also supported the winning incumbent Republicans in the state Assembly races, backing Rob Brooks over Chris Rahlf, 15,152-9,596 for the 60th District seat; Jim Ott over Liz Sumner, 12,414-7,289 in District 23; and Dan Knodl over Emily Siegrist, 3,632-2,453 in District 24.

Districtwide, Brooks garnered 65% of the vote to Rahlf’s 35%; Ott 65% to Sumner’s 49%; and Knodl 54% to Siegrist’s 46%.

Republicans ran uncontested in three county races on the ballot. Sheriff Jim Johnson was re-elected with 40,404 votes, Coroner Tim Deppish with 40,095 and Clerk of Courts Mary Lou Mueller with 39,927.

Voters in the Town of Fredonia agreed to appoint their clerk and treasurer, 686-428, and Cedarburg School District voters agreed to borrow $59.8 million for school improvements by a vote of 6,012-5,185.


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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
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