For some registered voters, Election Day will come a little earlier than November 4th. Local election officials started mailing out absentee ballots today for those folks who have requested one. It is Election Day the second it lands in the mailbox. For Donald Kane and his wife, November 4th is more than just Election Day. It could potentially mean the birth of a new addition to their family. “I'm going to be gone on November 4th due to my daughter's having a baby up in Michigan, she has three other children so I’ll be doing the baby sitting while she has the baby.” said Kane. That is why he has requested an absentee ballot. According to the New Hanover Board of Elections, more than 1,000 county residents have already done the same thing. Bonnie Williams of the New Hanover County Board of Elections said, ”Some of the upsides of voting absentee means that voters certainly don't have to stand in line for one stop voting on election day.” Judging by record voter turnout for the May primary, the November election is bound to bring lots of people to the polls. For Steve Kusmik, who is headed out of town on November 4th, it will not be the first time he has voted absentee. "Of course it cuts down on waiting in line, but of course you have to. The extra effort to pick up the ballot or call in for one, but its worth it." said Kusmik. There are virtually no restrictions on who can apply. Williams said, it is mainly college students, those who can not get to the polls, or those who are going to be out of town. Ballots must be requested in writing, either in person or through the mail. County Board of Elections must receive requests for absentee ballots by October 28, 2008. They have to be returned by November 3, 2008. The director of the New Hanover County Board of Elections said all absentee votes are counted. Absentee votes are considered a pseudo precinct, and are generally reported first because they are in before the polls close on Election Day.
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