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Election officials say lawmakers should speed up early voting process

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Ellsworth, 54011
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

The head of Wisconsin's election agency says lawmakers might want to simplify the process of early voting.

About 550,000 state residents used the absentee system to vote in advance of Tuesday's balloting.

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That was 18 percent of the nearly 3 million total votes cast. Because many absentee ballots didn't get counted until Election Night or Wednesday, there were delays in getting the final results out.

Kevin Kennedy of the Government Accountability Board says the Legislature should consider a faster process for early voting in which people could have their votes scanned in machines at the clerk's offices, instead of filling out absentee ballots and their related applications.

Kennedy says it would cause less paperwork for voters, and let clerks get more work done before Election Day.

At just under 3 million, Wisconsin's preliminary turnout figure was about 70 percent of the voting age population.

Officials had predicted 74 percent. But Kennedy says some people don't vote when one presidential candidate gets a big, steady lead in the polls like Democrat Barack Obama had for most of October.

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