Election Official: 68,000 Absentees Not Submitted

Helena Loops, of Des Moines, Iowa, checks out her ballot before placing it in the ballot box while casting her vote on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, at the First Church of the Open Bible in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

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By Ellen Kurt

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A spokesman for the Iowa secretary of state's office says about 670,000 people voted early, but roughly 68,000 absentee ballots requested by voters hadn't been turned in by Monday night.

Spokesman Chad Olsen says the number of absentee ballots not submitted sounds like a big number, but the percentage not returned is typical of past elections.

Olsen calls it "nothing new."

He says Iowa was setting a record for early voting, with up to 45 percent of people voting outside the normal polling place.

People with absentee ballots could mail them up until Monday. Such ballots won't be counted if mailed today, but they can drop off ballots off in person.

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