- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Burke, Walker pushing early voting in Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Supporters of Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Mary Burke tried to capitalize on a two-week early voting period that began Monday, holding rallies and other events to get voters to the polls.

In-person absentee voting continues through Oct. 31, the Friday before the Nov. 4 election. With the race a dead heat, both sides see turnout as crucial.

Burke was in Appleton and Madison on Monday for early voting rallies, and President Barack Obama was scheduled to campaign for her next week in Milwaukee. Burke planned to cast her ballot early in Madison on Tuesday.

“It’s going to be a very, very tight race and it’s going to come down to every single vote,” Burke told about two dozen college students at a rally Monday on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

Walker was to vote on Election Day but the Republican Party of Wisconsin held its own early vote rallies Monday in Green Bay, Sheboygan and Waukesha with Republican National Committee co-chair Sharon Day and a host of local officeholders, including Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy.

Walker said in an interview last week that his campaign had an “aggressive” effort to get people to the polls, both during the early voting period and on Election Day.

Walker said around Labor Day that he was concerned his supporters were being complacent as he was on the ballot for a third time in four years. Walker won a recall in 2012, and he expressed fears that Republicans were fatigued and not as motivated as Democrats this time around.

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Milwaukee County to release Doe emails

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Milwaukee County officials are planning to release thousands of emails prosecutors collected during the first secret investigation into Gov. Scott Walker’s former aides and associates when he was county executive.

A spokesman for Chris Abele, the county’s current executive, says Abele’s office will make nearly 16,000 emails and attachments that prosecutors seized from county and personal computers available Tuesday.

Abele’s office has already made tens of thousands of documents related to the probe public and expects to release even more material beyond Tuesday’s release.

The investigation ended in 2013 with six of Walker’s aides and associates convicted on charges ranging from theft to misconduct in office.

Walker wasn’t charged, although prosecutors launched a second secret investigation in 2012 focusing on whether his campaign illegally coordinated with conservative groups.

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Van Hollen abandons any hope of voter ID for now

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is giving up on finding a way to get a voter photo identification law in place for the Nov. 4 election.

Van Hollen said on Oct. 9 that he was looking at alternatives to have the voter ID requirement in place despite the U.S. Supreme Court blocking the law. But his spokeswoman Dana Brueck said Monday that after studying the issue, Van Hollen was no longer trying to get the law implemented.

It was unclear what Van Hollen could have done after the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the law.

The Supreme Court stopped enforcement of the law after the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in September that the voter ID requirement could be put in place this year.

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At least 69,000 absentee ballots issued so far

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - At least 69,000 absentee ballots have been issued to voters in Wisconsin in advance of the Nov. 4 election.

State elections officials released the number on Monday, the first day of the two-week period in which people may also vote absentee in person.

No comparison was available to how many absentee ballots had been issued by local election officials at this point four years ago. But in the presidential election year of 2012, at least 122,000 absentee ballots had been issued by this time.

Requests for absentee ballots by mail must be received by election clerks by Oct. 30. They must be postmarked by Nov. 4 and received by clerks no later than Nov. 7 to be counted.

The Government Accountability Board has yet to release a turnout prediction.

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