With 88% Turnout, Whitefish Bay Narrowly Chooses Walker

While the majority of village voters chose Tom Barrett two years ago, Whitefish Bay turned out in force and narrowly chose Walker this time around with a 52 percent majority.

With an amazing 88.5 percent voter turnout, Whitefish Bay voters sided with the majority of Wisconsin voters in re-electing Gov. Scott Walker to finish his term.

Fifty-two percent of Whitefish Bay voters chose Walker in Tuesday's recall election, with the remaining 48 percent choosing Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Interestingly, Whitefish Bay narrowly chose Barrett in the 2010 gubernatorial race with 51 percent to Walker's 49 percent.

Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch received 51 percent of the Whitefish Bay vote, while Mahlon Mitchell received 49 percent.

Here's a ward by ward breakdown:

Wards 1 & 2 Wards 3 & 4 Wards 5 & 6 Ward 7 Wards 8 & 10 Wards 9 & 11 Ward 12 Totals Scott Walker 875 618 739 327 791 579 419 4,348 Tom Barrett 524
550 606 351 805 714 447 3,997 Hari Trivedi 0 5 1 1 7 8 2 24 Rebecca Kleefisch 849 598 698 313 777 559 392 4,186 Mahlon Mitchell 516 540 607 352 795 709 445 3,964


Updated, 8:30 p.m.: Whitefish Bay election inspector Elaine Karamus knew she was in for a long day when a man was waiting at 6:30 a.m. this morning ready to vote.

The library, which is the polling place for Wards 1,2,3 and 4, saw a roughly 90 percent turnout, along with wards 5 and 6 at Village Hall. The library saw also saw 169 new registrants, surpassing the number of new voters registered in the 2008 presidential election.

At one point, library voters were lined up down two flights of stairs and into the lobby.

If the village does, in fact, reach 90 percent turnout, it would mirror the 2008 presidential election turnout of 89.7 percent.

Updated, 6:08 p.m.: The state's first-ever recall election is causing perhaps some first-ever voting habits.

Like this one: One man, who declined to give his name, said he voted for Barrett in the 2010 gubernatorial election, but he was switching his vote to Walker this afternoon on the principle of opposing recall elections.

"I don't agree with everything Walker did, but I just don't think the recall should happen," he said.

The race has also provoked a first in terms of emotion for at least one Barrett supporter in Whitefish Bay.

"I've never felt this strongly about a governor's race, but I am just sick of Scott Walker," Jason Sieberg said. "He's smarmy. He has that smirk on his face, just like Bush always did."

Another voter, Kirk McFarlin, agreed with Sieberg, saying Walker seems "bull-headed" and "untruthful."

"The whole country is watching us today," he said.

Updated, 9:30 a.m.: A record turnout is predicted in today's recall election, and things got off to an early start here in Whitefish Bay.

Voters that came to cast their ballots before the start of the work day had a roughly 20-minute wait at Village Hall and the library, but it was in-and-out at Lydell Community Center, according to friends of Patch's Facebook page.

Whitefish Bay is usually pretty purple, politically, and it showed in an informal poll of voters outside polling places Tuesday morning.

Voter Herb Gama said he voted for Tom Barrett because he disagreed with Scott Walker's cuts to public education and his limitations on collective bargaining.

"Whitefish Bay is one of the best public schools, and I hate to see us fall by the wayside," he said.

But Walker supporter Eric Maercklein said Walker did what he had to do to fix the budget. He said he felt good about Walker's chances in today's election.

"The fact that Obama didn't come here shows they don't think he's going to win," he said. "Obama doesn't want to associate himself with a loser."

Haven't voted yet? .

Another Barrett voter, who chose not to give his name, said Walker came into office with a brazen attitude and should have been more open to compromise instead of having a "my way or the highway" approach.

Walker's governing philosophy is no justification for a recall, said another anonymous voter. He said the recall is an embarassment to Wisconsin.

"He hasn't committed a crime, so he shouldn't be kicked out of office," the voter said.

Election Protection, a non-partisan organization, has several hundred volunteers on the ground in the Milwaukee area to make sure the election goes smoothly. The group has been assisting in elections since 2000, but this is the first time the organization has been fully involved in a Wisconsin election.

One volunteer, Raymond Dall'Osto, said the group makes sure poll workers are not being harassed and that the voting process is not overly-cumbersome. He said he brought a fan into the upper room of the Whitefish Bay Library due to high temperatures.

Bob McBride June 06, 2012 at 11:04 AM
Personally, I think the results of this election are a reaction to the use of the recall provision as a means of undoing the results of a previous election and the circus that surrounded the effort. What a tremendous waste of money, time, emotion and focus. And if those of you who supported it think you've somehow sent a message to Scott Walker and the Republicans, you have. It's not the one you wished for, however. You've emboldened them. You've provided an opportunity for the state electorate to essentially validate each and every action they've taken that you've disagreed with. If your intention was to, at the very least, knock Walker and the Republicans down a notch, you've accomplished exactly the opposite. Hopefully this puts the nail in the coffin of using our recall provision as a tool to gain political advantage. I still think it needs to be changed because memories are short, the urgency of the moment tends to rule and we cannot go through an expensive, pointless exercise like this ever again. The costs are way too high and the benefits of doing so are nonexistent.
Lu June 06, 2012 at 11:39 AM
How long until the recall of the recall happens? My faith in Wisconsin is restored.
WFB taxpayer June 06, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Yippee ki-yay!
Shorelander June 08, 2012 at 04:28 PM
The WFB results are really interesting .. the further north you go, Walker wins .. the closer to Shorewood, Barrett wins. I find that really fascinating. Nature/nuture. If you buy a home in WFB, and are conservative, do you just naturally locate in "north" WFB? Do moderates randomly buy "south" wfb home, and become liberals due to their proximity to Shorewood? (and all questions, vice versa.)


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