Saturday, November 1, 2008

Thoughts on Voting, Etc. Follow-up

Here is a photo from this morning's Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel showing a long line of people waiting to cast early ballots at the Municipal Building in downtown Milwaukee. People will be able to cast early ballots in Milwaukee through Monday. The photo was taken yesterday. The Municipal Building is across the street and down the block from the building in which I work, I know the area well, so I can tell you that the line of people stretched down two sides of the block in addition to snaking up the stairs to the doors into the building where the voting machines are set up. Wow! I'm thrilled to see this much early turnout. Some information from the article:
  • In Milwaukee alone, 14,000 to 15,000 people had voted by absentee ballot in person as of midday Friday, nearly twice the 8,000 figure from 2004. Others will vote today and Monday. And thousands more in the city had requested ballots by mail. (Milwaukee has a population of about 620,000, about half of which are eligible to vote).
  • Four years ago, about 365,000 of the state's 3 million votes were cast by absentee ballot, about 12% of the total. Officials have predicted about 15% of the projected 3.2 million votes Tuesday will be cast by absentee ballot, either in person at clerks' offices or by mail. Early numbers, while incomplete, suggest the early voting percentage could be surpassed.
  • According to the state Government Accountability Board, at least 211,472 absentee ballot requests had been processed as of Friday afternoon [state wide]. That tally does not include such large cities as Waukesha, Green Bay and Racine, which - among many other municipalities - do not track requests within the state's new computer system.
  • In Milwaukee, residents will be able to cast ballots today at the Zeidler Municipal Building, just east of City Hall, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. In all communities, absentee ballots can be cast in person until 5 p.m. Monday.

In another article from today's Journal/Sentinel, I read that some election officials are predicting as high a turnout of 70% eligible voters in the city of Milwaukee. Milwaukee County, about 1,000,000 people, traditionally is dominated by the population of the City of Milwaukee, which votes Democratic. Indications from early voting point once again in that direction - more registered Democrats voting early.

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