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More absentee voting expected

Election clerks throughout Wisconsin say there's a strong interest in absentee voting.

The Government Accountability Board expects 15 percent of the voting-age population to cast ballots in advance this year.

That's up from 12 percent in 2004, when 365,000 Wisconsinites voted absentee, either by mail or at their local clerk's offices.

The state used to make you give an excuse for being gone on Election Day before they would give you an absentee ballot. The Legislature did away with that a few years ago.

Now, both major presidential candidates are trying to play the system to their advantage and get as many votes in the can as possible before Nov. 4.

Republican John McCain's campaign sent out hundreds of thousands of mailings with pre-addressed absentee ballot request forms to local clerks.

Some were told to send those ballots to the wrong places, which the McCain camp called an innocent mistake.

Democrat Barack Obama's staff says it's targeting college students to vote for him early.

Voters asking for mail-in ballots should start getting them around Oct. 6. That's the first day absentees can vote in person at local clerk's offices.