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Wisconsin clerks issue 165,000 absentee recall ballots

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin election officials say local election clerks have issued around 165,000 absentee ballots ahead of next week's recall elections.

Clerks who use the statewide voter registration computer system report issuing 164,848 ballots as of midday Thursday. About a third of the state's 1,923 local election officials use the system, so the total number of absentee ballots issued so far could be much larger.

Voters cast 230,744 absentee ballots in the November 2010 regular gubernatorial election and 633,610 in the November 2008 presidential election.

Democrats upset with Republican Gov. Scott Walker's plan to strip most public workers of their union rights forced the governor and four other GOP officeholders into recalls. Walker faces Democrat Tom Barrett on Tuesday.

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