As last day for early voting approaches officials say record number have cast ballots

MILWAUKEE -- The deadline is Friday, November 2nd for in-person early voting ahead of Election Day on Tuesday, October 6th. There has been such a large turnout, some polling places have extended their hours or have stayed open on the weekends to accommodate voters. Many are projecting a record number of voters to head to the polls next Tuesday.

Nearly 4,000 people a day are going through Milwaukee's downtown polling place, sealing their absentee ballots. The average wait time is 20 minutes.

"I just wanted to make sure I at least get my vote counted, and I knew that if i waited until November 6th, that it would probably be a rush," one voter told FOX6 News.

The Wisconsin Legislature reduced the window for absentee voting, so the city of Milwaukee decided to extend early voting hours leading up to Friday's deadline. Milwaukee's downtown polling place is open from 8:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

"It means people aren't pressed into a small period of time that would usually result in long lines," City of Milwaukee Election Commission Executive Director Neil Albrecht said.

In Bayside, Village Manager Andy Pederson says there has been a record number of absentee ballots come through the polling place in the village. Officials are extending hours for early voting and will now be open until 6:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 5:00 p.m. Friday.

"It's something like we have not seen before. I can't imagine what the numbers will be like Friday," Pederson said.

Pederson says 23% of registered voters have cast ballots in the Village of Bayside. Voters like Rebecca Abbott say they're just erring on the side of caution.

"I've got two young kids and you never know what's going to happen. This is a really important election, and I don't want to miss it. I'd feel terrible," Abbott said.

Again -- Friday is the deadline for early voting in Wisconsin. After Friday, voters will have to wait to hit the polls on Election Day. Registration can be done at the polling place on Election Day.

CLICK HERE for additional voting and election information via the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.