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Ann Hayslett-Schultz (cq) (l) asks Ferneen Torrez (cq), the floor supervisor for issuing ballots in Jefferson County, if she is ready for the day's mail which will be full of more absentee ballot requests for Ferneen's staff to process. Jefferson County has had 97,083 requests for absentee ballots as of October 18, 2006. The last time there was a non-presidential election in 2002 they had 83,963 absentee ballots returned, but that year the governor was an incumbent. The cutoff date for requesting an absentee ballot is October 31rst. Jefferson County elections director Susan Miller says there are few reasons why the absentee ballot requests are already significantly higher then last last -presidential election such as this is a very long ballot and people want to spend time with it at home rather then being rushed at the polls and another reason is that voters are expressing a lack of confidence in the electronic voting machines. (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS/JUDY DEHAAS) **Ann Hayslett-Schultz (cq), Ferneen Torrez (cq)

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