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Absentee voting popular in first days

Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: September 26, 2013 - 10:43 AM

Updated Thursday, 10:37 a.m.

Election Day is six weeks away, but high numbers of voters are already heading to City Hall to cast an absentee ballot.

Nearly a week into absentee voting, 585 people have already cast in-person ballots at City Hall, according to the City Clerk's office.

City Clerk Casey Carl said the overwhelming majority of those voters -- he estimated about 95 percent -- have come from Ward 6. That's the East African-dominated ward where Somali candidate Abdi Warsame is waging an aggressive campaign against incumbent Robert Lilligren.

Carl said 149 people voted last Friday, the first day absentee voting was available. By comparison, only 15 people cast in-person absentee ballots on the first day of absentee voting in 2012 -- a presidential election year that saw 81 percent turnout among registered voters.

The absentee figures for 2013 do not include mailed applications for absentee ballots, which must be received, processed and mailed out.

Carl said the numbers of ballots is interesting to see so early on, though it does not necessarily indicate high turnout. It does, however, show that there is "good ground organization," he said.

For more information on absentee voting, visit the city's website.

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