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Some rural clerks' business hours vary for early voting

Published On: Oct 24 2012 06:29:17 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 24 2012 09:13:28 PM CDT

As Wisconsinites make their way to clerks' offices to vote early in the 2012 elections, depending on where they live, the line to vote may be tough to find.

The Government Accountability Board said some rural clerks adjust their shifts based on the needs of the community.

The city of Madison clerk's office said more than 3,500 people have cast ballots since the start of in-person early voting Monday -- quite a bit more than other municipal clerk's offices in Dane County.

"I got three (absentee ballots) in the mail today," said Town of Roxbury Clerk Bob Pings. "I probably got 45 right now; I'm not quite sure."

Pings, who has been the clerk in the Town Of Roxbury for 27 years, said out of the 1,100 registered voters in the township, he expects about 100 to cast absentee ballots before Election Day.

State election officials said several rural clerks adjust their shifts based on demand.

"(In) a lot of our rural communities, our clerk is part-time," said Kevin Kennedy with the Government Accountability Board. "They're not there on normal business hours. But they've been operating on those hours, some of them don't even have an office. They operate out of their home."

"I got to do it every day when it comes in, so it doesn't pile up, so I know where it all is," said Pings. "Every day, I get some (ballots) back."

The Town of Roxbury clerk's office is almost a one-person operation. Pings' deputy clerk is his wife.

Pings said he spends about 30 to 40 hours a week to ensure all the Roxbury absentee ballots are accounted for. 

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