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Absentee voting strong in Wisconsin special election



FILE - Stacks of absentee ballots placed on a table. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — More than 44% of people who requested absentee ballots for a May 12 special congressional election in northern Wisconsin have returned them, the state Elections Commission reported Thursday.

The election will be the second one in five weeks conducted in Wisconsin during the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 40,000 ballots have been returned out of around 93,000 requested. The election pits Republican state Sen. Tom Tiffany against Democrat Tricia Zunker, the president of the Wausau School Board. The winner will succeed Sean Duffy, a Republican who retired in September.

The seat has been vacant since then. Whoever wins will serve out the remainder of the year, but will have to run again in November for a full two-year term.

Statewide, about 71% of all voters cast absentee ballots ahead of the April 7 presidential primary and spring election. Both Republicans and Democrats pushed for absentee ballots in that race due to concerns about voting in person in the midst of the pandemic.

Most voters in the 7th Congressional District have until May 7 to request an absentee ballot.

Both Zunker and Tiffany are also encouraging absentee voting in their upcoming special election. The district is largely rural and covers all or portions of 26 counties.

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