Smaller Wisconsin cities manage first day of in-person absentee voting lines

Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 6:47 PM CDT
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DODGEVILLE, Wis. (WMTV) - Tuesday marks the first day of in-person absentee voting—or early voting—in Wisconsin, and cities across the state said they had been busy all day.

Both Janesville and Dodgeville saw large voter turnout and some long lines, with some first time in-person absentee voters.

“I’ve always voted on the third of November,” said Mike Andre, a first-time early voter in Janesville. “This year I thought I’d come out early and vote.”

Voters in both cities said no one is taking chances.

“I never know what time I’m going to get done with work,” said Tammy Chrobak, an early voter in Janesville. " I would never want to miss my chance to vote, it’s my right to vote."

Dodgeville voter Darlene Ryan echoed the feeling, saying, “I didn’t want to wake up on November 3rd and be sick, or [there is] a snowstorm and I wouldn’t get here.”

Some Dodgeville voters said that despite the pandemic, they felt better voting in person.

Don Majeski, a first-time early voter, said he felt more comfortable, even if it was early. “I just wanted to come to the place and physically put the envelope in the box,” Majeski said.

Ryan said she worried about her ballot getting lost in the mail, so she decided to vote in-person.

Wait times in Dodgeville typically held around 10 minutes, but Ryan said she was still surprised by the line.

“The last time I came down early, I just walked in and there was nobody else here,” Ryan said.

In Janesville, wait times stretched to a half hour or longer.

“It made me happy, that we’re going to have a good turnout,” said Chrobak.

Across the board, voters say this election was too important to miss.

“It’s a right that we all have, and we should take advantage of that right,” Ryan said.

The Wisconsin Election Commission released new data Tuesday, indicating that about 65% of the more than 1.4 million ballots mailed out have already been sent out.

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