- Associated Press - Friday, October 7, 2016

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Latest on early voting in Wisconsin (all times local):

12:15 p.m.

Thousands of mailed absentee ballots missing address information might not count in Wisconsin.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports (https://bit.ly/2dkqAj2 ) that a bill Gov. Scott Walker signed in March requires absentee ballots to include the full address of a witness.

Milwaukee Election Commission Executive Director Neil Albrecht tells the newspaper that the commission has received about 400 ballots where witnesses included only partial address and he expects to receive hundreds more with partial address ahead of Election Day. Racine officials say that city has received about 200 ballots with partial witness addresses.

The state Elections Commission has advised clerks to contact the voters and get consent to complete the witnesses’ address.


11:30 a.m.

The head of Donald Trump’s campaign in Wisconsin says Hillary Clinton is sending surrogates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to the state “because Wisconsin voters do not trust her.”

Warren held a rally Friday to encourage early voting in the state. Sanders held similar events earlier in the week.

Trump’s Wisconsin campaign director Pete Meachum says “Unlike Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump understands the concerns everyday workers are facing. To him, they’re real people who deserve to be represented by someone who will fight for them, not dismissed as a ‘basement dweller’ or ‘deplorable.’”

Trump is slated to appear at a campaign event on Saturday with House Speaker Paul Ryan, Sen. Ron Johnson, Gov. Scott Walker and a host of other Republicans.


11:15 a.m.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is in Wisconsin to get Democrats to vote early for Hillary Clinton and Senate candidate Russ Feingold.

Warren told people at a Madison rally Friday to vote as soon as they leave the event. She says, “with everybody voting, we win.”

Feingold says the opportunity to vote early in Wisconsin is “almost a miracle.”

Feingold says Republican-backed efforts to limit early voting in Wisconsin “is about the most cynical thing I’ve ever seen anyone do.” A federal judge in July overturned a state law limiting early voting, and several cities began offering it late last month. So far, about a third of the early votes cast have come from Democratic strongholds of Milwaukee and Dane counties.


9:40 a.m.

Gov. Scott Walker says it’s “hard to tell” what to make of early voting returns showing a third of the ballots cast have come from Democratic strongholds of Milwaukee and Dane counties.

Walker said Friday that given the unconventional campaign Donald Trump is running for president he doesn’t know if past voting trends will continue this year.

Walker also says he’s confident that Republican grass roots organizing in Wisconsin is strong and will drive strong turnout for GOP candidates on the ballot, including Sen. Ron Johnson.

Figures released Friday show nearly a third of the 70,740 absentee ballots cast so far have been in Dane and Milwaukee counties. Half of the ballots cast statewide have been in person.


8:20 a.m.

More than half of the absentee ballots cast in Wisconsin so far have been done in person.

New figures released Friday by the state Elections Commission show that 70,740 absentee ballots have been cast across the state. Nearly a third of those have come from the heavily Democratic counties of Milwaukee and Dane, fueling confidence in Hillary Clinton and Senate candidate Russ Feingold’s campaigns.

However, in-person absentee voting hasn’t begun everywhere around the state. Both Milwaukee and Madison opened polling stations for early voting on Sept. 26. Many more locations in both Democratic and Republican strongholds were to open in coming weeks.

A federal court ruling threw out a state law that had limited in-person early voting to the two weeks prior to the election.

As of Friday, about 38,800 in-person absentee ballots had been cast out of the 70,740 total.


12:05 a.m.

About 1 in 3 absentee ballots cast in Wisconsin so far have come from the state’s largest and most heavily Democratic counties.

Those numbers are giving Democrat Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign a reason to be optimistic about its chances in the state even as polls show a tight race with Republican Donald Trump.

Numbers compiled by the state Elections Commission show that as of Tuesday nearly 51,000 absentee ballots have been returned statewide. Of those, about 16,600 were from either Milwaukee or Dane counties.

Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook singled out those returns in a conference call with reporters as showing strength for Clinton.

By comparison, in the heavily Republican suburban Milwaukee counties of Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington, only about 4,600 early votes have been cast.

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