Lake Country Weather

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Rain not reducing voter turnout

 Morning rain storms have not dampened Lake Country voters enthusiasm in a state wide partisan primary election that includes a hotly contested race for Waukesha County Sheriff and state legislative races with multiplie candidates seeking the GOP nomination in the November general election, according to local election officials. 

"This is Wisconsin. No one is going to be stopped by a little rain. If they want to votet, they will get here," said Teresa Pelt, chief election inspector at the Richmond  Road fire station polling place in the Town of Lisbon.

"They are coming in with their umbrellas," added City of Delafield Clerk Gina Greasch.

"Besides, I think good weather lowers turn out because in good weather there is more to do outside, like play with your kids," she added.

Waukesha County and Lake Country election officials were anticipating a primary election turnout that would be 5 to 10 percent points higher than turn out across the rest of the state which is expected to be about 15 per cent.

"There have been a few more here than I thought there would be," added Village of Merton Clerk/Administrator Tom Nelson.

Nelson said he expected turn out in the village to be a bit higher than usual for a primary election since it is the home town of sheriff's candidate Tom Alioto.

In the neighboring municipality of the Town of Lisbon, where Alioto served on the police force before it was abolished, 150 voters have cast absentee ballots, an usually high number of a primary contest, according to veteran election observers.

In an early morning interview, Alioto predicted that it would be a close contest in an election where he was once considered a heavy under dog.

His opponent, county sheriff's inspector Eric Severson, could not be reached for comment. In an unprecedent move last week, the county Republican organization endorsed Severson.

GOP County vice president Kieth Best said the party's executive commission felt in had a "moral obligation" to endorse Severson to  signal to voters that Everson was the most qualified of the two candidates.

"That is not the executive committee's job. Making endorsements should be left up to the entire membership of the Republican party. Besides, people don't like to be told who to vote for," responded Alioto.

In addition to the sheriff's contest, there is a three candidate race for GOP nomination in the 21st Assembly District  where incumbent Don Pridemore is not seeking reelection.

In southern Lake Country, there are a half dozen candidates seeking the GOP nomination in the 97th Assembly District where incumbent Bill Kramer opted not to seek reelecion after sexual assault charges were filed against him.

The turn out  is expected to be lighter in communities like the city and town of Delafield where there are no legislative contests and local election officials believe there is less interest in the sheriff's race.

"It has been pretty light," is how Election Inspector  Mary Carol DeGuire  described the turned at the Town Hall polling place in the Town of Delafield.

"It has been slow and steady," added Gresch at the city's single polling place at Christ the King church on Genesee Street (Highway C).

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