Wisconsin Election Officials Turn Toward Certifying Results

MADISON, Wis. – Following Tuesday’s high-turnout Spring Election, election officials now turn toward the multi-step process of certifying the election results in the weeks ahead. 

The Wisconsin Elections Commission can report it is not aware of any significant issues that affected the election, which is the last regular statewide contest of 2023. 

“Despite the possibility of severe weather, Wisconsin’s election officials conducted another smooth election on Tuesday thanks to their diligence and preparation,” said WEC Administrator Meagan Wolfe, Wisconsin’s chief election official. “While Election Day is over, election officials’ work is far from complete – we look forward to conducting the meticulous process of canvassing the results to ensure their accuracy.” 

According to unofficial results, approximately 39.34% of Wisconsin’s voting age-population turned out to vote, which is higher than any other Supreme Court contest not coinciding with a presidential preference primary since at least 2000. Recent elections featuring a Supreme Court contest and not coinciding with a presidential preference primary saw 27.06% turnout in 2019; 22.32% turnout in 2018; 15.86% turnout in 2017; 18.28% turnout in 2015; and 20.45% turnout in 2013. 

Elections featuring both a Supreme Court contest and presidential preference primary saw 35.40% turnout in 2020; and 47.38% turnout in 2016. Historical turnout figures can be found on the WEC website: https://elections.wi.gov/statistics-data/voter-turnout

The WEC has not yet certified the state-level results of Tuesday’s primary, meaning all preliminary election results and turnout estimates are not final. It is normal for unofficial election results to change slightly as election officials conduct canvasses to ensure an accurate vote total while completing the certification process.

The WEC does not centrally compile unofficial results. However, unofficial election results are available on county websites, and a list with links to these county election sites is available here: https://elections.wi.gov/wisconsin-county-election-websites

Without an official statewide reporting process, the WEC at this time relies upon unofficial figures from The Associated Press. Unofficial turnout can be calculated by adding together the unofficial votes cast in the highest-turnout statewide contest for which the AP collected data and dividing the total by the state’s estimated voting-age population. 

Unofficial results collected by the AP indicate, as of Wednesday, there were at least 1,839,656 votes cast in the Supreme Court contest, which is 39.34% of the state’s estimated 2022 voting-age population of 4,676,183. Voting-age population is estimated by the Demographic Services Center of the Wisconsin Department of Administration.

The unofficial turnout figure likely represents an undercount of voters, as some voters may have chosen not to vote in the Wisconsin Supreme Court contest but participate in other local contests.   

The WEC will publish official results once they have been canvassed at the local level and certified by the Commission. 

Counties must convene their boards of canvassers by 9 a.m. on Tuesday, April 11 to begin certifying official results. The county board of canvassers is generally made up of the county clerk and two other people. County clerks are elected on a partisan basis, so one of the other two members must be from the opposite party of the county clerk. The deadline for counties to provide certified results to the WEC is Friday, April 14.

In the third step of the certification process, WEC staff receive results from the counties, recheck all the counties’ numbers and combine them to arrive at totals. The statutory deadline for the Chair of the WEC to certify statewide results is Monday, May 15.


Wisconsin does not have automatic recounts, even if the unofficial results are extremely close. More information on Wisconsin’s recount process can be found here: https://elections.wi.gov/resources/manuals/recount-manual