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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

 9:00 AM 

Minor hiccups at polls this morning; absentee votes could be up 50 percent over '04

Government Accountability Board executive director Kevin Kennedy said some polling places have been experiencing "the usual hiccups" this morning, but there have been no reports of major problems from around the state.

Kennedy said his polling place on Madison's west side had a malfunctioning optical scanner, and there was a report of problems with another scanner at a separate Madison polling place. But poll workers were attempting to troubleshoot. He said when a scanner goes down, the ballots are placed in an auxilliary box in the machine and are scanned in later by poll workers as time allows.

Kennedy also said in a release that a preliminary review of absentee voting trends in select municipalities indicates the state’s 2008 absentee votes could increase by as much as 50 percent over 2004.

According to Kennedy, the total 2004 absentee vote statewide was 364,639. However, as of today, an examination of absentee voter data for select municipalities in Brown, Dane, Milwaukee and Waukesha counties shows at least an overall 50 percent increase over 2004.

Overall, Kennedy predicted turnout to reach 3.2 million statewide for this election, topping the previous state record of more than 3 million in 2000.

See a GAB press release on early balloting here.

-- By Greg Bump

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