Voter turnout high for Wis. recall election

Recall voter
Inge Bleier registers her ballot on June 5, 2012 at the town hall in the town of Hudson, Wisconsin, after voting for current Gov. Scott Walker or challenger Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. The recall election marks just the third time in US history that a state governor has been challenged midterm.

Wisconsin election officials are reporting heavy turnout today in the state's historic gubernatorial recall election, pitting Republican Gov. Scott Walker against Milwaukee's Democratic Mayor Tom Barrett.

Walker's opponents vowed to oust him after he moved last year to curb the power of the state's public employee unions.

The state's Government Accountability Board reports long lines but no major problems so far.

Susan Sandvick, the Douglas County Clerk in Superior, just across from Duluth, reports similar activity there.

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"It's actually really heavy, heavy voting," she said. "When the polls opened, I have accounts where people were standing in line."

Voter turnout was predicted to reach 60 to 65 percent Tuesday.

Wisconsin voters
Voters arrive at a polling place to cast ballots in the Wisconsin recall election June 5, 2012 in Clinton, Wis. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, a Democrat, is trying to unseat Republican Gov. Scott Walker in the recall election.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

"I'm thinking that we might even get a little higher than that, in considering too that there was a high amount of absentee voting that occurred also," Sandvick said.

Statewide, voters requested over 200,000 absentee ballots.

In La Crosse County, County Clerk Ginny Dankmeyer said the turnout for the May primary "is nothing like we've seen this morning."

"There may even be a wait at the polling places to vote," Dankmeyer said.

Turnout is also high in Polk County, just east of Taylors Falls, Minn.

"Lines were out in the parking lots and behind the doors before 7 o'clock this morning," said Polk County Clerk Carol Wondra.

Pierce County officials in southwestern Wisconsin say they're seeing good turnout as well.

"It's been a least a little higher than in typical elections," said Pierce County Clerk Jamie Feuerhelm.

Polls opened at 7 a.m. and will be open until 8 p.m.

Kraker reported from Duluth, Minn.