Wisconsin's gubernatorial recall election was historic in more ways than one.
Yes, the June 5 election between Gov. Scott Walker and Democrat Tom Barrett was the first attempt to recall a governor in Wisconsin history — and only the third time in the nation.
But it also set the record for the highest turnout in a Wisconsin governor's race in which the office of president was not also on the ballot.
Final certified numbers released Wednesday show that 2.516 million votes were cast in the recall election — or 57.8 percent of the state's voting-age population, according to the state Government Accountability Board, which oversees Wisconsin elections.
That's the highest turnout for a gubernatorial election since 1960 — when the presidential race between Democrat John Kennedy and Republican Richard Nixon also was on the ballot. Turnout in that election was 73 percent, the highest since the state started tracking turnout in 1948.
How did your community vote in the recall?
Prior to 1970, Wisconsin elected its governor every two years. The governor is now elected every four years, when there is no presidential race on the ballot.
The June 5 turnout dwarfed the turnout in the 2010 election between Walker and Barrett, where 49.7 percent of adults showed up at the polls. It was also the highest turnout for a gubernatorial election in the last 50 years.
While the numbers were big, they weren't quite as high in the days leading up to the election.
The board projected a turnout of between 60 percent and 65 percent, although it acknowledged the difficulty of making a projection because Wisconsin had never had a statewide recall before.
Nor was the turnout anywhere near was it was in the 2008 presidential election, when 69.2 percent of the voting-age population showed up at the polls.
In addition to releasing the turnout figures, the GAB Wednesday also certified the final results of the elections for governor, lieutenant governor and three of the four state Senate recall races. The 21 District race between Republican Van Wanggaard and Democrat John Lehman is being recounted in Racine County.Wanggaard is challenging the results, which show that he lost by more than 800 votes.
The final results in the governor's race show Walker with 1,335,585 votes (53.08 percent); Barrett with 1,1164,480 votes (46.28 percent); and independent candidate Hari Trivedi with 14,463 votes (0.06 percent).
Republican Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch had 1,301,739 votes (52.89 percent) and Democrat Mahlon Mitchell received 1,156,520 votes (46.99 percent).