Monday, November 5, 2012

Associated Press Published: November 5, 2012
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin election officials say more than 545,000 people have requested absentee ballots for Tuesday's election.

The Government Accountability Board said Monday 392,912 ballots had been requested in local clerks' offices and 152,148 ballots have been requested by mail and other methods. Ballots must be post-marked by Election Day and received in the municipal clerk's office by 4 p.m. on Friday to count.

Requests for absentee ballots could be higher than the numbers the board released. All local clerks are required to track military and overseas absentee ballots, but only about 350 municipalities track some or all absentee ballots in addition to military and overseas requests.

Voters in 2008 cast 633,610 absentee ballots, 21 percent of the 2.99 million total ballots cast.

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Bruce Springsteen returned to Madison on Monday to lend some rock 'n' roll star power to President Barack Obama's campaign, as Wisconsin remained in the spotlight in the waning hours of the 2012 campaign.

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, a congressman from Janesville who joined Mitt Romney's ticket in August, planned to end his day of visiting battleground states with a homecoming rally in Milwaukee.

The attention on Wisconsin the day before the election speaks to how closely both campaigns see the race and the importance of the state's 10 electoral votes. The race for Wisconsin's open U.S. Senate seat was also hanging in the balance, with polls showing the contest between former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson and Democrat Tammy Baldwin as even tighter than the race for the presidency.

It all added up to an exciting, and expensive, campaign season in Wisconsin, which already weathered June recall election targeting Republican Gov. Scott Walker as well as several this year and last aimed at ousting state senators. All eight of the state's congressional seats, all 99 state Assembly seats and half of the state Senate were also to be decided Tuesday.

As summer slipped into fall and polls showed the race between Obama and Romney tightening, the two campaigns focused their efforts on winning Wisconsin and a few other battleground states. Obama visited Wisconsin three times in the five days before the election, bringing pop star Katy Perry with him on Saturday and Springsteen on Monday.

While Perry made headlines for wearing a skin tight mini-dress emblazoned with the word "Forward" — which is both Obama's campaign theme and Wisconsin's state motto — Springsteen opted for black jeans and a vest when he took the stage under a sunny sky and temperatures in the 20s.



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