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Early voter numbers show people choosing different ways to vote in Milwaukee County versus Waukesha County

Posted at 6:07 PM, Oct 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-22 19:07:52-04

BROWN DEER — The latest early voting numbers show depending on where you live, people are choosing different ways to cast a ballot before Election Day. Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, the Wisconsin Elections Commission say overwhelmingly, people in the state choose to cast their ballots in-person on Election Day.

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“I grew up in the age where you would go to your local voting facility, and check your name off the list, and get your sticker and walked out,” said John Antoszak, a Brown Deer voter.

But Meagan Wolfe, the administrator of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, says early voters and mail-in voting could be just as popular this year.

“We have gone into this [election] knowing is we have to be prepared for high turnout using all three options,” said Wolfe.

So far in Milwaukee County, there have been 20,320 in-person early voters. Waukesha County has seen just a few thousand less with 18,782 in-person early voters. Even though Milwaukee County has more than double the population.

So the question is, are fewer people voting in Milwaukee County? Not necessarily, according to the Milwaukee County Elections Director Julietta Henry.

“A lot of people are taking advantage of requesting absentee ballots. The number of absentee ballots is doubled what came in 2016 if you are just comparing the numbers,” said Henry.

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Milwaukee County has seen 179,833 mail-in ballots returned, well above Waukesha County’s 100,637 ballots.

But with Election Day still nearly two weeks away, Henry says it's still too early to say how the majority of people will ultimately choose to cast their ballot.

“We weren’t comparing this to a pandemic in 2016,” said Henry, speaking about the last presidential election year. “You really can’t tell until Election Day.”

Remember, if you do have a mail-in ballot, it needs to be returned by Election Day, Nov. 3. Election officials are encouraging you to consider putting it in a ballot drop box to make sure it is in on time.

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