Local spring elections aren't normally known for bringing out voters, but these aren't normal times.
Madison City Clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl sent an appeal to city workers on Monday, asking for help at the polls on April 5. "The number of absentee voters we have seen so far indicates that the turnout for the April 5 spring election may be similar to the turnout we see for a November election," she wrote.
The numbers don't seem to support this claim. The clerk's office says that, as of Tuesday, 888 people had cast absentee votes for the April 5 election. In the Nov. 2 general election, 11,369 people voted early or by mail. The city has 173,026 registered voters.
Witzel-Behl could not be reached for comment about why she expects a big turnout on April 5. In her email to staff, she wrote: "The City Clerk's Office would like to recruit city employees to work at the polls on city time with their supervisor's permission. This would enable our polling places to split the poll books if the lines get long. We do not want our voters to have to wait in line any longer than 15 minutes."