Absentee Voting in Wisconsin Exceeding 2004 Levels

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Early voting in the presidential race is already surpassing 2004 levels in many parts of Wisconsin, including several cities expected to favor Sen. Barack Obama.

In Milwaukee, more than 10,000 people have voted by absentee ballot at the municipal building. That's up from 8,000 in 2004 and the number is expected to grow by 700 per day until next week's election.

In Madison, voters have endured lines of 45 minutes or longer in recent days to cast ballots at the clerk's office. An official tally wasn't immediately available today but officials expect to surpass the 25,000 absentee voters of 2004.

Clerks in Green Bay, Kenosha and Janesville say they are already exceeding 2004 levels. They say they're expecting their biggest crowds in the final week before the election.

Turnout has been so heavy across the state that a spokesman for the Government Accountability Board says its estimate that 15 percent of Wisconsin votes would be cast by absentee ballot may be too low.

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