Madison turnout this April is lower than 2021

MADISON, Wis. — Madison turnout is a few percentage points lower than last year’s April election according to early turnout numbers, which the city’s clerk says could be due to the easing of the pandemic.

Madison Clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl said fewer voters have cast absentee ballots this year which could push turnout later into the night. Absentee votes can be counted earlier in the morning, and higher in-person voting, especially after work, could explain lower turnout numbers in the morning.

By 11 a.m., the city’s turnout was down to 7% from 12% at the same time last year. The 4 p.m. number was similar, down to 14% from 21% last year.

This is also an election marked by changes — a state Supreme Court ruling threw out the use of unstaffed dropboxes and clarified that a ballot could only be returned by that voter, no one else.

Witzel-Behl said this caused some confusion among voters, but clerk staff members were able to help For instance, she said one voter who wanted to limit contact with clerk staff was able to toss her ballot to an official in lieu of having her husband return it for her.

Polls will remain open until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, and those in line by that time can still vote. Polling places may have changed due to redistricting, but up-to-date information is available at

Click here for the latest election results in Madison and across southern Wisconsin once polls close.