The final push for early voting is on across Wisconsin, and high-profile surrogates are expected to rally with candidates for governor, the U.S. Senate and other offices ahead of the election just eight days away.
Democratic candidate for governor Tony Evers was planning Monday to urge students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus to vote early. On Tuesday, he and Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin were to join former Vice President Joe Biden at early-voting rallies on the UW-Madison campus and at a Milwaukee union hall.
Also Tuesday, President Donald Trump’s son, Eric Trump, planned three campaign rallies across central Wisconsin with Republican U.S. Senate candidate Leah Vukmir and U.S. Reps. Sean Duffy and Glenn Grothman.
Polls show Vukmir trailing Baldwin, while the race between Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Evers is a tossup. The final Marquette University Law School poll is scheduled to come out Wednesday. Democrats hope polls indicating enthusiasm among their supporters will translate into victory on Nov. 6.
Friday was the deadline to register to vote absentee ahead of Election Day. In-person early voting is available in some parts of the state through the weekend, but those voters must have registered by Friday. Voters may also register at the polls on Election Day, but candidates prefer to get them to cast ballots early to secure their vote and to avoid any last-minute problems that could prevent them from following through.
The Wisconsin Elections Commission reported that, as of Monday, 363,322 absentee ballots and been requested and 297,011 had been returned. In 2014, there were 374,294 absentee ballots counted of 2.42 million cast.
It’s impossible to know whether early voting is favoring Republicans or Democrats in Wisconsin because voters do not register by party in the state. Comparisons with ballots cast at this point in 2014 are unavailable because election clerks weren’t required to track absentee voting daily until 2016.
Also Monday, Evers reported raising $6 million between Sept. 1 and Oct. 22. Neither Walker nor Evers had filed the report that was due by the end of Monday, but Evers said in a statement he had received more than 48,000 donations over the seven-week period.