Skip to content

Fiscal Facts: WI voter turnout usually dips for spring elections

Wisconsin’s nonpartisan spring elections tend to be low turnout affairs. Although Badger State turnout for fall presidential elections usually is among the highest in the nation, it declines significantly in non-presidential years and drops even more in the spring. Generally, about one-fourth as many eligible voters make it to the spring polls as in the fall.

What is responsible for the drop-off? It may be due partly to the perceived importance of the offices involved. In the fall, voters elect the president or governor, state lawmakers, and members of Congress, which are often viewed as high-stakes races. The names and offices on the spring ballot are less familiar.  

Do you know who’s running for your local school board, county board, city council, village or town board this spring?

This information is a service of the Wisconsin Policy Forum, the state’s leading resource for nonpartisan state and local government research and civic education.