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Absentee Ballots Getting Numbered to Smooth Election Night

Village clerks are pre-numbering absentee ballots as part of an effort to get results faster on election night next month.

Voters who line up early on Nov. 6 to cast a ballot may find that they're not really number one or two or even 102.

Instead, early morning voters may find themselves holding numbers that start much higher. The reason is because clerks in the Villages of Caledonia, Mount Pleasant and Sturtevant are using poll workers to pre-number absentee ballots in the days leading up to election day.

Veronica Rudychev, village clerk/treasurer in Mount Pleasant, said taking these steps before election day should help results roll in a little more quickly and the day go more smoothly as well.

"This is going to save us time on election day and help the workers at each polling location reconcile the numbers earlier," she said.

Village of Caledonia Clerk Karie Torkilsen said she anticipates using this process going forward for bigger elections.

"During the June recall election, we had workers who were at polling locations until 4:30 in the morning," she said. "This will be a good practice for elections where we expect high turnout."

Sturtevant Clerk/Interim Administrator Mary Cole is anticipating the need for extra help from poll workers for about two weeks. Because trustees budgeted for four elections in 2012 instead of six, Cole knew her elections expenditures were going to be over budget, but now, that number is higher than originally anticipated.

"I think we're going to be $5,000 or $6,000 over budget," she said. "The extra elections plus the working leading up to Nov. 6 is going to push us higher, unfortunately."

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