Tomah has joined the early-voting craze.
City of Tomah municipal clerk Jo Cram said 551 voters had cast early-absentee ballots by 4 p.m. Friday. That compares with 332 during the same period in 2014.
The early voting has Cram anticipating a 65 to 70 percent voter turnout by the time all Tomah ballots are counted after the polls close at 8 p.m. Tuesday night.
“It’s going to be high,” Cram said. “It’s already 14 percent, and we’ve haven’t even opened the polls yet. I think it’s going to be huge.”
The early voting follows a national trend in which 32 million voters have already cast ballots. The early absentee voting in Wisconsin ended at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
Polls open statewide at 7 a.m. Tuesday. City of Tomah voters cast ballots at the fire station next to city hall.
Local voters have lots of choices, ranging from one of the nation’s closest gubernatorial races to a contested race for Monroe County Sheriff.
Wisconsin allows same-day voter registration, and Cram current credit card or charge card statements have been added to the list of documents permitted to verify residency.
She said her office has also gotten lots of online registrations.
“It’s pretty slick now with wisvote,” Cram said. “We’ve been getting online registrations for weeks and weeks.”
The city has hired 25 poll workers, including six students from Tomah High School. Cram urged voters to have their photo identification cards “out and ready” before receiving a ballot. A photo ID doesn’t need to have a current address, but a driver’s license can’t be expired prior to Nov. 8, 2016.
Cram said interest has been significantly higher than in previous elections held in non-presidential years.
“I’ve had people 60 years old come in and tell me it’s the first time they’ve voted,” she said.
Tomah Journal editor Steve Rundio can be reached at email@example.com.