Just 13.2% of registered city voters participated in Tuesday's election, and turnout for the contested Circuit Court and Municipal Court races was worse – 11.7% and 11.4%, according to preliminary election results.
Attorney Kashoua "Kristy" Yang handily beat attorney Scott Wales in the countywide race for Milwaukee County Circuit Court's Branch 47 judgeship and incumbent Valarie Hill easily beat William Crowley to retain her Municipal Court seat.
City turnout was bad -- 35 wards had turnout of 5 percent or less, and just six had turnouts of 30 percent or more. The smallest turnout was in ward 192 near N. 17th and W. State Streets, where there are 1,904 registered voters, but where just 26 ballots were cast for a turnout rate of 1.4 percent. (This analysis does not include Ward 327, where none of the five registered voters cast a ballot.)
The highest turnout was 33.7 percent in ward 206, the Story Hill neighborhood on the west side. There are 732 registered voters there, and 247 votes were cast.
The map below shows the wards with the highest and lowest turnouts in Tuesday's elections. The wards with turnouts of 5 percent or below are in red. The wards with turnout of 30 percent or above are in blue.
Crowley won in 61 city wards, mostly on the east, south and west sides of the city. Hill also won wards in those areas, and swept through the north and northwest sides of the city, winning a total of 252 wards, or more than four times the number that Crowley won. The two tied in 11 wards.
Hill entered the race with a big advantage -- money. She raised $78,719 this year, including loans, according to the most recent campaign finance report, and had a cash balance of $12,251 at the end of the reporting period.
Crowley filed for an exemption from reporting requirements because he did not raise or spend more than $2,000.
Overall, Hill beat Crowley by a vote of 23,918 to 15,407. There also were 161 write-in votes.
The map below shows the wards that Hill won (no additional color), that Crowley won (blue) and where the candidates tied (orange.)
Gretchen Schuldt is executive director of the Wisconsin Justice Initiative.
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