Madison and Dane County officials still were tabulating voter turnout from Tuesday's recall primary, which was predicted to generate statewide numbers rivaling a 60-year-old record for voter participation in a partisan primary.
State elections officials predicted a 30 percent to 35 percent statewide turnout for Tuesday's election, or between 1.3 million and 1.5 million voters.
As of 11 p.m., with 99 percent of wards in, 1.28 million voters, or 29.5 percent of those eligible, cast ballots, preliminary Associated Press figures showed. That's a 50 percent increase over the total turnout in the 2010 gubernatorial primary, when 19.6 percent of eligible voters went to the polls.
Tuesday's turnout was one of the highest in state history for a partisan primary, adding to the already historic nature of the recall of Gov. Scott Walker. It's only the third gubernatorial recall election in U.S. history. Governors were recalled from office in North Dakota in 1921 and in California in 2003.
Dane County, which predicted 40 percent of eligible voters would go to the polls, said it would not have turnout numbers until Wednesday.
The weather cooperated for most of the day Tuesday in the Madison area, with breezy conditions and temperatures ranging from the mid-50s when polls opened at 7 a.m. rising to the mid-60s in mid-afternoon and dipping to 59 at 8 p.m.
The highest proportion of voters participating in a partisan primary was in September 1952 when turnout was 38.9 percent, according to the Government Accountability Board. In that election, U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who accused dozens of officials of being Communists, fended off primary challenges from five other Republicans.