Early voting breaks records in Madison - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Early voting breaks records in Madison

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MADISON (WKOW) -- City officials say Madison has reached record breaking early voting numbers for this election.

City Clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl said a total of 18,758 voted absentee in the office this election. That's almost 1,000 more people than in 2008. On Friday alone, 2,935 voters headed to the City-County Building to cast their ballots.

The line seemed never-ending to some early voters. "I thought it was going to be a quick line but it ended up winding around like you see in roller coasters," Eric Ronning said. He decided to vote early because he's got a busy schedule on election day.

Witzel-Behl said the Clerk's office has never seen these kinds of lines. The above-average turn out daily could be the result of a shortened early voting period. In 2008, the polls were open for four weeks before election day. This time around, people had to vote within 12 days.

Many folks seemed to be okay with the a wait that reached more than two hours at certain points on Friday. "I'm actually gratified to see the line even though it means I have to wait because it means that people are taking it seriously," Carole Trone said.

Statewide, more than 412,000 Wisconsin voters requested absentee ballots as of Wednesday. "We're seeing a very high turn out, about what we expected to see," said Government Accountability Board President Kevin Kennedy. According to the GAB, in 2008, 21 percent of the 2.99 ballots cast were absentee. They expect a similar percentage in this election.

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