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Gov. Scott Walker easily beat back a recall challenge from Democrat Tom Barrett Tuesday. Walker acknowledged the bruising battle could leave scars, and says bringing the state back together will take time.Supporters greeted Gov. Walker after his victory with chants expressing gratitude.The recall against Walker was sparked by his limits on collective bargaining for public employees, but it grew to a coalition opposing budget cuts to health care and education. Walker says his reforms helped fix the state's deficit, despite being unpopular: “We tell our country and we tell people all across the globe that voters really do want leaders who stand up and make the tough decisions.”Walker says he will increase the number of jobs in Wisconsin, although Barrett took issue with that claim during the campaign. During his concession speech the Milwaukee mayor said the recall was democracy in action: “To those of you who care about this city which I love. To those of you who care...

Voters are turning out at the polls to make a change or to stand by their man in Wisconsin.Superior City Clerk Terri Kalan is pleasantly surprised by how busy it’s been. She says outside of a couple of scanner misfeeds and some polling place confusion, everything has been going well: “All of the chief inspectors that I’ve talked to said that everyone has been very pleasant coming through the line and not complaining about having to wait. So, so far it seems like everything is going very well.”There were waiting lines this morning and Kalan expects more lines when people get off work later today. Janice and John Letsos were expecting a bigger rush at the polls. They were trying to avoid what they’ve seen in previous years with elections, “We always vote. We vote in every election and this is a heated election, let’s put it that way. And that’s why we’re here early.”...

Many of Wisconsin's smaller, rural communities had higher-than-usual voter turnout for yesterday's election.In the town of Barre in La Crosse County, Town Clerk Sally Stelloh says she’s seeing twice as many voters as usual: “We have a good turnout in Barre, people are civically-minded and they’re very interested in what’s going on.”Down the road the rural town of Bangor is seeing a heavy voter turnout too. Bangor Clerk Peg Culpitt says as of noon, already a third of the registered voters in the community had cast their ballots. She says she’s not surprised at the turnout so far. Culpitt says the election has stirred up strong emotions. “I think in some cases its brought conflict into families where two people are coming and they’re canceling each other out.”Despite the large turnout, there have been no major problems in the towns of Barre and Bangor....

There are reports of high voter turnout throughout Wisconsin as people head to the polls for the state's first ever gubernatorial recall election. That includes projected turnout of as high as 100-percent in Madison.
The 100-percent figure from Madison City Clerk Maribeth Witzel Behl is based on the number of people who had voted by 11 o'clock this morning. Turnout was already about 25-percent. She says that number typically doubles by four o'clock and doubles again by the time polls close at eight.
If it sounds impossible, Witzel Behl says you have to remember the way turnout percentages are calculated, "It's not mathematically impossible because our numbers are based on registered voters. And so it means we'd have a lot of new registered voters--people who hadn't registered in advance of the election."
Dane County Clerk Karen Peters said she'd ordered enough ballots to accomodate 100-percent turnout countywide. Based on the turnout she saw this morning Peters ordered...

State elections officials are reporting “very heavy” voter turn-out in today’s recall election. Noah Ovshinsky has more.

Gov. Scott Walker's recall election victory might not seem like it would have much relevance outside the Badger State. But the outcome may embolden other governors to follow Walker's lead and move against public employee unions. It also could boost conservatives and disrupt President Obama's re-election strategy.

Morning Edition

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, a Democrat, conceded to Republican Governor Scott Walker Tuesday night. Democrats and labor unions tried to oust Walker in response to his push to strip public employee unions of bargaining rights.

Governor Scott Walker thanked supporters in Waukesha after being projected the winner of Tuesday's recall election. Supporters chanted, "Thank you, Scott," as Walker thanked his family, campaign staff, and supporters throughout Wisconsin. He said his victory shows that voters do want leaders who make the tough decisions. He says tomorrow, he will meet with his cabinet and renew his commitment to grow Wisconsin's economy and move forward.
When a few supporters booed at his mention of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Walker said, "No, the election is over," and urged Wisconsinites to get past the election and move forward.
Earlier, Barrett urged his supporters in Milwaukee to "never stop doing what you believe is right."
Walker says he plans to invite members of the legislature to his residence for, "burgers, brats, and maybe some good Wisconsin beer," and to talk about ways to improve the state for all residents.

Returns are coming in for today's recall elections for governor, lt. governor, and in four state Senate districts. Follow the results online at and listen to WPR's Ideas Network tonight for reports and analysis.

The state's Republican Gov. Scott Walker has survived a recall election in one of the most closely watched and dramatic state races. He defeated Milwaukee's Democratic Mayor Tom Barrett.

After seven months of signature collecting, delays and primaries, the recall election targeting Republican Governor Scott Walker is Tuesday. (6/5) The result of the contest between Walker and Democratic challenger Tom Barrett could depend on turnout.

Gov. Walker and Milwaukee Mayor Barrett are close in the polls. The surveys show only a few percent of the electorate undecided. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee governmental affairs professor Mordecai Lee says in that kind of race turnout is typically key. Lee says he's impressed at the get out the vote efforts.

Lee says the amount of time, energy and money going into a governor's race has been unusual. Voters also get to choose between lieutenant governor candidates Mahlon Mitchell and Rebecca Kleefisch, and there are four state Senate seats up for grabs.

Nearly 100 supporters were on hand to greet Democratic candidate Tom Barrett during a campaign stop at a La Crosse coffee house Monday morning.
In a room full of sign-carrying supporters, and local Democratic lawmakers, Barrett likened the gubernatorial race to a heavyweight fight. He attacked Scott Walker for accepting millions in out-of-state money, “In one corner you’ve got Scott Walker who has raised millions and millions of dollars from the billionaire in Texas, from the developers in Missouri. Stacks and stacks of money. And in the other corner, I got you.
Both candidates have said voter turnout will be key with recent polls showing a close race. Barrett urged his supporters not only to vote but to urge others to do the same, “To make sure that everybody we know votes, this is our democracy. When the founders put together those documents, they didn’t talk about they the people, they talked about we the people. This is...

The candidates for Governor are crisscrossing Wisconsin in advance of Tuesday's historic recall election.

Gov. Scott Walker made his first of a half-dozen campaign stops Monday at a Fitchburg plastics manufacturer. Speaking to reporters Walker delivered what has been one of his closing arguments in this recall, "We want to make sure we get our voters out, and we want to make sure we make as many last-minute appeals to undecided voters that if they want to move on, if they want to move forward, then we're the candidate. If they want to go back and rehash the entire debate all over again that we saw for the last year-and-a-half, then they should vote for our opponent."

Walker said he expected a big turnout with passions running high on both sides. The governor said he wasn't surprised that polls showed the race tightening and that he'd always expected a close vote. Walker was asked whether he had...

Wisconsin election officials are making their final preparations ahead of tomorrow's recall. Municipalities have been swamped mailing absentee ballots and handling early in person voting. According to the Government Accountability Board over 206,000 absentee ballots had already been issued as of noon Monday.
"It's been very busy," said Kris Teske. She's the Clerk for the City of Green Bay. "Very busy at the counter, very busy with requests. Today feels really good because nobody can vote or register today so it gives us time to catch up."
Teske says that they're all set for the polls to open tomorrow at Green Bay's 47 wards.

"We're prepared," she said. "It's just like any other election. Granted we'll have more people but we'll just send more supplies."
The Government Accountability Board is estimating turnout to be around 60 to 65 percent. Polls in Wisconsin are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m....

About two dozen African-American ministers joined Jesse Jackson Sr., at a rally in Milwaukee Monday (6/4), as the effort continues to boost voter turnout in the city.

The minister’s event was billed as non-partisan, but shortly after it began, Pastor Kenneth Wheeler of Cross Lutheran Church in Milwaukee criticized the policies of Republican Gov. Scott Walker, including Walker support for the now-stalled photo ID law.

Rev. Jesse Jackson continued his get out the vote efforts in Wisconsin, by saying that when Martin Luther King Jr. was killed in Memphis, King was trying to help sanitation workers in a labor dispute.

It won't be known until after the polls close Tuesday night, just how well turnout efforts are working. Milwaukee resident Darnelle Bowles says the ministers' words are inspiring, but she's reaching out, too.

Republicans are also making last minute voter turnout pitches, especially in GOP dominated counties north and west of Milwaukee....

The polls are open until 8pm in Wisconsin for today's recall elections. In addition to the race for governor and lt. governor, there are Senate recalls on the ballot in the 13th, 21st, 23rd, and 29th Districts.
If you're not sure where you should vote, check out the Government Accountability Board's website.
You can read more about the candidates in the various races at
And, join us tonight at 8 on WPR's Ideas Network for results and reports on all of the races.

Former Democratic state Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker is speaking out on the circumstances surrounding his controversial vote in late 2010 on public union contracts, and the governor's stance on collective bargaining.
In the last days of Jim Doyle's administration, longtime union supporter Russ Decker shocked his colleagues by voting against a set of contracts with public workers that would have tied incoming Gov. Walker's hands. On a Wisconsin Public Radio talk show, Decker says he did not expect the new governor to strip away collective bargaining rights in the weeks that followed, "I didn't think they would strip collective bargaining rights. I knew that they would go after them to pay more health care and retirement benefits, and the public employees agreed to that."
Decker told his colleagues on the Senate floor that they needed to work with the new Republican administration. The head of the state employees union, Marty Beil was outraged. He suggested that Decker...

Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Tom Barrett are making their closing arguments to voters today ahead of tomorrow's historic recall vote. Both men spent Sunday (6/3) urging campaign volunteers to keep at it.
Barrett spoke with supporters at a coffee shop in Oshkosh Sunday morning. A few said they'd already been out campaigning for him that day.
Joining Barrett at this stop was outgoing Democratic U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, who said Barrett would lead as a pragmatist, "You never get 100-percent of what you want. But 80-percent is damn good. Tom understands that."
Barrett blamed Walker for dividing the state. Barrett said he was the only candidate who could bring people back together, "I do not believe that the majority of the people of this state like the fact that we are now considered the most polarized state in this country."
Barrett said his campaign believed the race to be a dead heat, saying...

Jesse Jackson Sr., and other African-American leaders are making a final push to increase voter turnout for Tuesday's gubernatorial recall election.
Rev. Jackson spoke at get out the vote rallies in Racine and Milwaukee. As the Milwaukee crowd chanted with him, Jackson linked the act of voting to the civil rights movement of the 1960's.
The rally was supposed to be non-partisan, but Jackson criticized Republican Gov. Scott Walker for efforts like the voter ID bill, turning down $810 million for high speed rail between Milwaukee and Madison, and for curtailing collective bargaining for many public sector workers. Monday (6/4) morning, Jackson was scheduled to join Rev. Al Sharpton and some Milwaukee-based black ministers for a get out the vote news conference. Advocacy groups plan more door-to-door efforts. Anita Johnson of Citizen Action says helping relatives to the polls is important, too.
Republican Gov. Scott Walker spent part of the weekend, thanking volunteers at GOP voter turnout...

Here and Now

UW-Milwaukee political science professor Mordecai Lee offers analysis of last night's gubernatorial recall debate between Gov. Scott Walker and Tom Barrett.