Check back here for exit polls, live results, and dispatches from Tom Barrett’s election night headquarters. Follow our man in Milwaukee, @AndrewKroll, for the latest from the Badger State.
9:40 p.m. Central time: Gov. Scott Walker is the projected winner of Tuesday’s historic gubernatorial recall election in Wisconsin. News outlets called the race for Walker less than an hour after polls closed. Walker led his opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, 58 percent to 41 percent with half of precincts reported across the state. Read more here.
8:32 p.m. Central time: To the ire of Democrats and labor officials, the role scandal-plagued Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus will play in tonight’s election operations remains in doubt. The Journal Sentinel reports:
While Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas and his chief of staff insisted Tuesday that County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus was not the one in charge of election duties for the recall election, she appeared to be at the helm.
Nickolaus refused to respond to questions in her office, turning her back and closing her office door while a reporter waited at a service counter. Her deputy, Kelly Yaeger, didn’t respond, either.
Nickolaus was observed passing out election supplies to local clerks leading up to Tuesday’s election, and she’s the one who fielded questions Tuesday from the field, said Gina Kozlik, Waukesha’s deputy clerk-treasurer.
Shawn Lundie, Vrakas’ chief of staff, said he was confident procedures put in place with Yaeger would ensure smooth reporting of votes Tuesday night. He also said Yaeger, while fully competent, was free to ask Nickolaus to assist her.
Vrakas, for his part, added that Nickolaus “agreed to step aside and hand off her duties to Kelly (Yaeger), and that has occurred.”
8:20 p.m. Central time: More exit poll details trickling in:
94% of Republicans votes for Walker; 92% of Democrats voted for Barrett; Walker took won Indies 50%-49% in exits. #wirecall
— The Fix (@TheFix) June 6, 2012
7:48 p.m. Central time: Several voting precincts in the Milwaukee area have reported running low or out of ballots for Tuesday’s recall elections, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
Poll workers at Phyllis Wheatley School, 2442 N. 20th St., reported having only 10 paper ballots shortly after 6 p.m. with many people waiting in line. The polling place had already run low on ballots earlier in the day and election officials dropped off more.
As of 6 p.m., 548 ballots were cast at Phyllis Wheatley School, more than twice as many as in previous elections, said Lois Sneed, chief elections inspector.
Registration forms for residents signing up to vote also ran low or were gone at several wards in Milwaukee. Janet Veum, communications coordinator for Wisconsin Jobs Now, said registration forms ran out at Wards 141 and 142 at 2450 N. 6th St. Ballots and registration forms ran out at 53rd St. School, and ballots were running low at the Center St. Library.
Poll workers at Wards 108 and 109 at Ben Franklin School, 2308 W. Nash St., and Wards 110 and 111 at Children’s Outing Association, 2320 W. Burleigh St., also reported running out of registration forms for new voters.
7:25 p.m. Central time: Wisconsinites who turned out to vote in Tuesday’s recall elections for Gov. Scott Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, and four GOP state senators were split almost evenly by party identification, according to CNN exit polls. Thirty-five percent said they were Democrats and 33 percent identified themselves as Republicans. Thirty-two percent described themselves as independents.
Nine out of ten voters, exit polls found, said they’d made up their minds about how to vote in the recall elections prior to May. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Walker’s opponent, won the recall’s Democratic primary on May 8. Just seven percent of voters said they decided how to vote in the recalls on Election Day.
Here’s the view at Tom Barrett’s election night ballroom. The calm before the storm… #WIRecall twitter.com/AndrewKroll/st…
— Andy Kroll (@AndrewKroll) June 6, 2012