Election Day: Officials in Milwaukee took questions on amendment referendum, voter ID

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Tuesday, April 7th was Election Day in Wisconsin. Historically, spring elections draw significantly less voters to the polls than fall elections, but this year, there was something on the ballot that election officials said had the potential to draw more voters to the polls. This, as the Government Accountability Board estimated turnout to be around 20%.

Election officials in Milwaukee estimated between 15-20% of voters would show up at the polls Tuesday. While some things suggested a possible lower turnout (spring break, for example), election officials said what was on the ballot might encourage more voters to turn out.

On the ballot, a constitutional amendment that would change the way the state's Supreme Court's leadership is chosen. Currently, the Supreme Court's chief justice is selected based on seniority. On Election Day, voters were asked whether the Supreme Court's chief justice should be chosen by a majority of justices.

Milwaukee County election officials said they believe this issue could be a draw for voters.

"You really want to understand the question, the history of the question. It`s a binding referendum question -- meaning there would be an amendment made to the state constitution if it passes," Neil Albrecht, executive director of the Milwaukee Election Commission said.

"I had to read the ballot a couple times," a voter said.

"I wasn`t quite sure but I did look it up and decided which way I wanted to vote," a voter said.

Albrecht says his office got its fair share of questions on the amendment referendum as well as questions about the voter ID law.

"The newly-passed photo ID requirement does not go into affect until the 2016 election cycle, so people have eight months to learn about the requirement, to get those photo IDs, and to be prepared for the very busy election cycle next year," Albrecht said.

One voter said he hoped it would get busier at the polls later Tuesday -- compared to what he saw while voting.

"It's disappointing not to see that many people out here," the voter said.

The polls close at 8:00 p.m.


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