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Absentee voting starts today in state

Wisconsinites will start voting absentee today for the Nov. 4 elections.

You longer need an excuse to be gone to vote absentee and state officials expect 15 percent of all ballots to be cast that way.

Individuals can do it by mail, or at your municipal clerk's office.

Four years ago, about 12 percent of Wisconsin's registered voters, or 365,000 people, cast absentee ballots.

State Republicans and their White House candidate John McCain are trying to get as many people to vote early as possible so they can key in on those who will wait until Election Day.

The McCain camp took heat when it gave some people to wrong place to file their absentee ballot requests.

Democrat Barack Obama's camp also encourages early voting. But for them, it's not as critical as it is in other states because there's not an early deadline to get voters to register.

Wisconsinites can register on Election Day.

But lots of folks are signing up in advance this year.

As of Aug. 30, Wisconsin has processed about 154,000 new voter registrations, and 190,000 name or address changes.