People often wonder why it takes so long for election results to be completed. Now a bill circulating in Madison could speed up the process of counting ballots. Under the proposal, clerks throughout Wisconsin could get a head start counting absentee ballots. Under current law, clerks in La Crosse and elsewhere can’t start tabulating absentee ballots until after the polls close. That means it is often well after midnight, and sometimes even later, before we know who won an election. It makes sense to allow clerks to start processing absentee ballots before the polls close. Clerks have been clamoring for the right to do so for some time. It would make their jobs easier. As absentee voting has become more and more popular, it takes longer and longer to count all those ballots. If this were to become law, they could have the absentee ballots processed sooner, leading to quicker election results, particularly in high turnout elections. It is hardly a new idea. 38 states allow for the counting of absentee ballots before the polls close. This bill has the support of the clerks, and it has bipartisan support in the Legislature. Passing this bill should be a no-brainer.