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Tuesday, September 30, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 47.0° F  Overcast
The Paper
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The Madison City Clerk's office is buzzing on Election Day

It's just past 11 a.m. and the city clerk's office is humming.

"Maribeth, Maribeth?" someone is calling out. "Maribeth?

Maribeth Witzel-Behl, the city clerk, is on the phone, her undivided attention unavailable.

The room is much busier than usual but there are surprisingly long periods of time between calls coming in to the front office staff.

One person is asking another for guidance. "She's owned it since April but just moved in less tha ten days ago." That's not good enough, according to the reply: "She has to be living there at least ten days."

Dan Cassuto, a reporter from Channel 27, is talking to one of the clerks about his own experience at the polls. "They kept asking if I had a state ID or a Wisconsin driver's license."

In the end, Cassuto was allowed to register and to vote without producing either. In fact, he notes, when he got to the polling place at Memorial Library early this morning, there were at least 200 people in line. But those who needed to register who allowed to go into a separate shorter line. Cassuto figures that not bothering to register beforehand saved him at least two hours.

Rachel Strauch-Nelson, the mayor's spokesperson, is on hand to help out. "It's busy," she says. "We're getting requests for supplies. We're sending people to help where they can."

She says the office is especially busy right now because the polling places all call in at 11 a.m., the first of several check-ins. This is what is keeping the Witzel-Behl tied up. But people are still trying to get through to her. You can her it all over the office.

"Maribeth? Maribeth?"

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