Solid turnout, smooth election in Watertown

April 5, 2019

Almost half of Watertown’s registered voters came out during Tuesday’s elections, with a total of 5,893 Watertown residents casting their ballots.

About 48.1 percent of the 12,259 registered voters selected the new mayor Emily McFarland and aldermen for the Watertown Common Council. The highest voting percentage was District 8 with 57.2 percent and the lowest turnout was District 7 with 34.3 percent.

In 2016 during the last mayoral race, 63.4 percent of registered voters came out to vote.

City Clerk Elissa Friedl told the Daily Times last week she did not expect the turnout on Tuesday to be higher than 2016 because it did not coincide with a presidential election. But she anticipated the turnout to be closer to the mayoral race in 2013, 29.7 percent, which was the last race without a presidential preference.

“I’m pleasantly surprised by the increased turnout,” she said. “It’s always good to have more than you anticipated.”

Friedl said voting went smoothly and the city clerk’s office was prepared.

Tuesday’s election went smoothly, according to Dodge County Clerk Karen Gibson.

“I’m very pleased with the turnout,” Gibson told the Daily Times Wednesday morning. “There were no problems. The new voting system worked well and we had all the results in to us by 9 p.m.”

She said Dodge County realized a 37 percent turnout in Tuesday’s election.

“Of the 48,540 registered voters in the county, 18,106 cast a ballot,” Gibson said. “There were 2,500 more voters Tuesday than there were in last year’s spring election.”

She stressed the number of registered voters does not include those who registered at the polls on election day.

Gibson said Dodge County will canvass its votes Monday.

A total of 48,621 people or 40.5 percent of registered voters in Jefferson County turned out to the polls Tuesday on a rainy day.

According to Jefferson County Clerk Audrey McGraw, this was a pleasant surprise to her, her colleagues in the county offices and many municipal clerks around the area.

“I talked to several municipal clerks and they were happy to see so many people come out for a spring election,” McGraw said.

It is common in the county that a spring election turnout may only total perhaps 25 percent of the electorate.

McGraw said voting went smoothly Tuesday with the exception of a few minor glitches, which were quickly remedied.