MADISON (WKOW) -- The first ballots for the May 8 recall primary have already been cast.
In-person absentee voting started Monday in Wisconsin.
There could be a record number of people taking advantage in Madison as hundreds of voters converged on the City Clerk's office.
But, the staff was armed and ready for the onslaught.
"We've had people calling us for months, asking about absentee voting," said Madison City Clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl.
May and June are prime vacation months in Wisconsin and many voters usually skip summer elections.
But, this is not a typical election.
"I think everybody's got an investment and we need to go out and get that vote in and make it known what we want," said Sharon A. Peshek, who said she voted for Kathleen Falk in Democratic primary for Governor.
"Its a really big issue with a lot of people, so obviously people are going to make sure they're votes are gonna be counted and that they get their say," said 21-year-old Alice Odden-Nussbaum, who voted early because she will be working as an election volunteer on May 8.
The Clerk's office had over 50 boxes worth of absentee ballots printed.
"We ordered enough for 100 percent turnout, because we have no historical reference as to how many people would vote in this type of election and so we're just prepared," said Witzel-Behl.
The Clerk's office is even planning to stay open late, until 7:00 p.m. this week and next.
And for the first time ever in a non-presidential election, they will also have weekend hours.
"We'll be open on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and then next Sunday from noon to 4:00 p.m.," said Witzel-Behl.
"They're giving everybody, every option to vote whenever it works into their schedule," said Signe Buchholz, who voted early for Governor Scott Walker.
The Clerk's staff is ready to work long hours over the next two weeks.
That will contribute to an estimated $450,000 overall cost for the recalls in Madison.
Witzel-Behl said she will have to ask the City Council for a budget amendment to pay for it, since that money was not included in her original budget.
MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison's City Clerk is preparing for a large number of people to take advantage of in-person absentee voting for the recall elections.
In-person absentee voting for the May 8th primary began Monday and City Clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl ordered enough ballots for a 100 percent turnout.
Witzel-Behl said she doesn't know what to expect in terms of numbers and wants to make sure there are more than enough ballots.
Witzel-Behl indicated her office took a large number of calls over the past few months from people inquiring about voting early.
As a result, Witzel-Behl is also extending office hours for in-person absentee voting.
The Clerk's office will stay open until 7 p.m. on weeknights through May 4th and will also be open for a few hours on Saturday and Sunday this weekend.
Capitol Bureau Chief Greg Neumann will have a report on Madison's early voting on 27 News at 5 and 6.
MADISON (WKOW) – In-person absentee voting, which is also known as early voting, is underway for the upcoming recall primaries.
On May 8, there will be Republican and Democratic primaries for governor and Democratic primaries for lieutenant governor and four state senators in Districts 13, 21, 23 and 29. To vote in-person absentee, voters can stop by their municipal clerks' offices during normal business hours. In-person absentee voting ends May 4 at 5 p.m., or at the close of business, whichever is later.
The Government Accountability Board says voters can also request an absentee ballot from their local municipal clerk's office. The deadline for most voters is 5 p.m. on May 3. For military and those who are indefinitely confined due to age, infirmity, health or disability, the deadline is May 4 at 5 p.m. Absentee ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and received by 4 p.m. on May 11 to be counted.
On Election Day, all polling places will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. People in line at 8 p.m. will be allowed to vote.
For more information on the recall, click here to visit the Government Accountability Board's web site.
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