As of Friday, the Government Accountability Board reports 412,611 absentee ballots requested so far in Wisconsin for the Nov. 6 election.
There were 256,277 ballots requested in clerks’ offices in person, and 156,334 absentee ballots were requested by mail and other methods.
According to the statement from the GAB, although there is no pre-election data available from the 2008 election, 633,610 votes cast by the actual election date were absentee, which was 21 percent of the total votes cast, the GAB statement said.
It remains to be seen whether there will be more or less absentee ballots cast in this election, according to Reid Magney, spokesperson for the GAB.
Magney said no actual estimates can be given out, but the numbers might be similar to the 2008 election.
“It will probably be around 600,000, so it might be similar to the 2008 election,” Magney said.
Clerks are not technically required to report on the number of absentee ballots cast until the end of the election, but according to the GAB’s statement over half the state’s municipalities do track these numbers through the State Voter Registration system.
Magney also stated the importance of early, in-person and absentee voting is something both candidates stress in the upcoming election.
“Both parties emphasize absentee voting prior to the election,” Magney said.
Mike McCabe said voter turnout will be higher due to increased interest in this election.
“The number of early votes cast will probably be more than in your typical election. However, voter turnout will be higher, and this is just a way to facilitate that,” McCabe said.
Absentee ballots by mail have to be postmarked by election day and received by the local municipal clerk’s office by 4 p.m. Friday Nov. 9 in order to be counted, the statement said.
In order to check voter registration status, as well as look up the clerk’s offices, the statement asks voters to check the website http://myvote.wi.gov.