Casting and Counting 

The bill for the election down at Ada County Elections Bureau could get higher because of over-diligent absentee voters, according to officials at the Ada County Clerk's Office. Phil McGrane said Ada County expects to see a bill from the U.S. Postal Service because absentee voters cram their mailed-in ballots with extra material that came with their ballot package.

"We pay out quite a bit of postage every year," said Phil McGrane, elections specialist for Ada County.

Mailing in your absentee ballot is supposed to require jut one first-class stamp, McGrane said. But if voters stuff their envelope with the booklet that comes with the voting instructions, the cost of the ballot's return increases.

"We just tell the postal service to take them," McGrane said.

Interest in this year's election, as of midday on election day, is high, McGrane said. Turnout was high, and early voters and absentee voters were also plentiful. More than 23,000 people in Ada County asked for absentee ballots or voted early, McGrane said. That's lower than turnout for the 2004 presidential election, but still plenty high, he said.

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