A ballot machine malfunction in Fond du Lac delayed voters for a short time early this afternoon, in one of the six recall elections drawing strong turnout of electors in Wisconsin.
Ballots cast during the temporary shutdown in Fond du Lac were placed in an auxiliary bin, then scanned through a new machine when it was delivered about 12:30 p.m., said City Clerk Sue Strands. No voters were turned away, although some may have left instead of waiting in line, she said. All of the ballots were counted.
Strand forecast a turnout of 70% to 80% in the race pitting incumbent Randy Hopper (R-Empire) against challenger Jessica King, a Democrat and former deputy mayor in Oshkosh.
Initial reports from the polls forecast a strong turnout in the recall elections for all six Republican incumbents. The recalls stemmed from their support of Gov. Scott Walker’s union-bargaining legislation. Two Democratic senators will face recalls next week.
Few election problems were reported as of mid-afternoon, although officials with the state Government Accountability Board were called upon to interpret rules for election clerks.
In Butler, village officials and poll observers from the Election Defense Alliance worked out an accommodation to allow exit polling in Butler Tuesday morning.
Jonathan Simon, executive director of the Alliance, had a different view, said his workers were looking to interview voters leaving the polls inside the village hall and have them verify their vote. The organization planned to compare the exit polls with the ballot totals, in an attempt to uncover fraud.
The difficulties in the early hours prevented the observers from gathering enough data to serve their purpose, Simon said.