Voters continued to build Sunday on Madison’s record-breaking number of early ballots cast in person during a midterm election, but fell short at besting the total number of in-person absentee voters from two years ago.
In total, 37,314 Madison voters had filled out in-person absentee ballots over a seven-week period, with 626 residents on Sunday being the last people to vote until polls open Tuesday for Election Day. It more than quadrupled the number of in-person absentee ballots cast in the 2014 midterm elections at 8,811.
The 2014 figure — the previous midterm record — had already been surpassed by voters this year on Oct. 22. The 37,314 voters represent about 17.7 percent of the city’s voting-age population.
The number of in-person absentee ballots in Madison during the 2016 election, 57,260, still handily beat this year’s number, but midterm elections historically draw fewer voters than presidential elections.
A change to in-person absentee voting rules, though, could factor into this year’s substantial increase over the 2014 midterm. Beginning in 2016, municipalities could set up multiple absentee voting locations instead of just at the clerk’s office. The city had 16 locations throughout Madison this year.
Additionally, there were limitations in 2014 on the days and hours clerk’s offices could be open.
Also Sunday, director and comedian Judd Apatow was the next in a line of Democratic politicians and their backers to visit Madison as they look to hold the state’s U.S. Senate seat and win back control of the governor’s office.
Videos on Twitter showed Apatow, director of The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up and Trainwreck, door-knocking Sunday afternoon with volunteers for NextGen America, a liberal group formed in 2017 aimed at mobilizing youth voters, before he was scheduled to perform two shows at Comedy on State at night.
Polls are open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. where voters will decide statewide races for governor, U.S. Senate and attorney general.