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Thousands of voters cast ballots on first day of early voting


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Election Day is two weeks away – but thousands of Wisconsinites already have their votes in.

They filed into the municipal clerks’ offices Monday, on the first day that in-person early voting was allowed using the absentee process.

Republicans voted in their last session to shorten the early voting period to 12 days instead of a month. Still, officials in Wisconsin’s larger cities expect about the same-sized crowds as in 2008 – when about 22 percent of all voters in the Badger State got their ballots in early.

Madison officials said 1,200 people showed up Monday, although crowds dwindled in the afternoon during a steady rain.

Candidates, their surrogates, and party leaders have been criss-crossing Wisconsin urging voters to complete their civic duty now. Both presidential candidates are monitoring Wisconsin clerks’ offices, and both say they’re pleased with how their voters turned out Monday.

Ben Sparks of the Romney camp said the Walker recall election victory in June gave Republicans, “a ton of enthusiasm.”