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DECISION 2012: Absentee voting for hospital patients

EAU CLAIRE, WIS (WEAU) -- "The first time I voted in a presidential election was 1956," said Mick Hunter.

That was 56 years ago when he cast his first ballot as a soldier in the army. A lot has changed in those five decades, but every four years, one thing has stayed the same.

"Since then I've voted at every presidential election," he added.

This presidential race will be no different. On Monday, Hunter casted his ballot using a special procedure for hospital patients.

"On the absentee ballot there is a space for hospitalized voters," said Donna Austad, Eau Claire's City Clerk.

She says voters can even get the application at some hospitals.

An "agent," usually a family or friend, brings the application to the city clerk in return for a ballot. Then, it is back to the patient.

"That person votes it, seals it up in the envelope and has a second person act as a witness," she said.

The agent returns it to the city clerk's office and from there joins the other ballots.

"I'd like to see a large turnout of voters," Hunter said.

Hunter was initially worried about voting when he went to the hospital.

"Because my legs were awfully weak from the pneumonia that I was being cured for," he said.

But he takes comfort in knowing his voice will be heard and more importantly hopes others will see it the same way.

"I just want to impress upon people that they have a right to vote, so use it," he added.

For more information about absentee voting,click here.


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