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Early voting for primaries underway in Wisconsin

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Early voting is underway for Wisconsin's fall primaries.

Municipal clerks have opened their windows for a two week absentee voting period which ends a week from Friday -- 4 days before the August 12th Election Day.

Majority Republicans have scaled back early voting, which ran for several weeks a few years ago.

Earlier this year, the GOP banned the absentee voting after 7 p.m. and on weekends, saying small towns cannot hold the same hours as the bigger cities -- and there needs to be uniformity statewide.

Critics said the Republicans were just trying to inconvenience the Democrats, because they're generally more successful in winning elections in the bigger cities. Scot Ross of the liberal One Wisconsin Now says the change affects mainly younger people as well as city dwellers.

Meanwhile, Government Accountability Board director Kevin Kennedy says the biggest question he gets is why voters cannot vote in both parties' primaries. As he points out, the purpose of primaries is for parties to pick their own finalists for November.

Wisconsin is unlike most other states because it has an open primary -- where voters can choose their parties anonymously. In most states, voters must publicly ask for a certain party's ballot.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)