In-person early voting under way

Some lined up to vote Monday
In-person early voting under way

In-person early voting has begun across Wisconsin, with some people camping overnight outside of city clerk offices to be among the first to cast ballots.

About 75 people were lined up outside the city of Madison clerk’s office before it opened at 8 a.m. Monday.

Sandra Rivera-Derickson, 66, arrived at 5:30 a.m. to be the first person in line. The retired teacher said she wanted to make a statement that every vote counts. She said she voted for President Barack Obama.

Former Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle also voted Monday. He said he will be out of town on Election Day.

Cattle farmer Max Harn said convenience plays a big role in early voting.

“If I had any kind of issue or emergency at the farm, I wouldn’t want to have to jeopardize the farm in order to be able to vote, or skip my vote to be able to take care of the farm. This way, that’s all taken care of,” Harn said.

The city of Madison clerk’s office said that as of 5:45 p.m. Monday, about 1,200 ballots had been cast.

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Early voting has become more popular over the last three presidential elections. In 2008, 30 percent of all votes cast were from early voters, including one out of every five voters in Wisconsin.

The city of Madison clerk’s office will be open from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. weekdays. This weekend it will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

The campaigns of both Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, were crisscrossing the state over the weekend and on Monday to encourage people to vote early. The in-person early voting period ends on Nov. 2, the Friday before the election.

The wife of Vice President Joe Biden helped kick off early voting in Madison on Monday morning.

“It’s not going to be me. It’s not going to be Michelle or Joe or Barack. This is about you. This is about your lives. You’re going to make this difference. You’re going to be the ones who are taking us forward on Nov. 6,” Jill Biden told supporters in Madison.

Jill Biden’s stop in Madison coincides with a weekend of campaign appearances. She traveled around the state encouraging voters to cast their ballots early.

And Joe Biden will be back in Wisconsin this week. Ten days out from the election, Joe Biden is expected to make his fifth stop in Wisconsin this year. Details about the vice president’s visit haven’t yet been released.

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