MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin residents have started voting in the state's first-ever statewide recall primary.
On May 8 there will be Republican and Democratic primaries for governor, and Democratic primaries for lieutenant governor and four state senators in Districts 13, 21, 23 and 29.
Early voting, also known as in-person absentee voting, began Monday in municipal clerks' offices during normal business hours. Several voters cast their ballots Monday morning at the Madison Clerk's Office.
Early voting around the state runs until 5 p.m. or the close of business May 4, whichever is later.
Voters may request an absentee ballot from their local municipal clerk's office. The deadline for most voters is 5 p.m. on May 3. The deadline for military and those who are indefinitely confined due to age, infirmity, health or disability is 5 p.m. on May 4. Absentee ballots must be postmarked by Election Day, and received by 4 p.m. on May 11 to be counted.
Election officials said they are anticipating a big turnout in the weeks to come.
"We anticipate that this will be similar to a presidential election just based on the number of calls and absentee requests we've been getting. And the calls started last year with questions about the upcoming two elections, but there's no precedent," said Madison City Clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl.
Wisconsin's open primary allows voters to cast ballots for either side, Republican or Democrat, no matter their true feelings. That inevitably leads to speculation that one side or the other will try to vote for the opposing candidate they view as the weakest, although it's rarely successful.
The state's voter ID law is on hold as two lower court decisions stopping the law are being appealed. People will not be required to show photo identification at the polls to vote in the primary election.
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