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Rep. Jennifer Shilling and Sen. Dan Kapanke

In-person absentee voting for the Aug. 9 state Senate recall elections got off to a busy start Monday.

In the city of La Crosse, 94 people had voted by 4:30 p.m.

"This is a busy first day," said La Crosse Deputy Clerk Nikki Elsen, who noted changes brought by the state's new voter ID bill shortened the absentee voting period to two weeks and implemented a uniform start date.

Onalaska recorded 55 over-the-counter votes, in addition to mailing out 326 ballots.

Deputy Clerk Elizabeth Eklund said people began calling after the July 12 primary, wanting to know when they could vote.

Viroqua clerk John Severson said he saw fewer than a dozen walk-ins Monday but expects heavier than normal absentee balloting.

On the ballot for the 32nd District race are incumbent state Sen. Dan Kapanke, R-La Crosse, and his challenger, state Rep. Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse. Kapanke is among six Republicans facing recall elections Aug. 9. Two Democratic state senators are up for recall the following week. A third Democrat survived a recall election last week.

The recall efforts were sparked this spring by Republican moves to curtail collective bargaining rights for public workers and Democratic responses.

To be mailed a ballot, a written request must be received by municipal clerks before the end of the day Aug. 4. The last day for in-person absentee voting is Aug. 5.

In-person voting can be done during regular business hours at municipal clerk offices or by appointment, La Crosse County Clerk Ginny Dankmeyer said.

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