Deadline for absentee ballot request

Thousands of ballots are already being processed at the Registrar-Recorder's Office in Norwalk, returned by citizens who decided to cast their votes by mail.

People lined up early to fill out applications and to pick up their voting materials. An estimated 25 percent of L.A. County voters will either vote early or vote by mail this year.

"It's just more convenient for me right now, and I think that on voting day, it's going to be very crowded," said one local voter.

Some say they want to take their time filling out the ballot.

"I'm new to California, I'm in the process of moving, and where I work is very far away from where I have to vote, and I want to be able to sit down and research all the people that are on the ballot and all the measures and everything and make an informed choice," said Ofer Fuchs, who is voting by mail.

"The propositions are, as usual, very confusing, and the way they're written is always a little bit misleading, so it takes some time to study and get them right," said Ken Jones, who is also voting by mail.

For others, voting by mail is a necessity.

"I work with the military, and I'll be out of town, and I just want to make sure, it's an important election, I want to make sure that my vote was in and that it counts," said Brenda Logan, another resident voting by mail.

As the presidential campaign heads into the homestretch, Democrat Barack Obama is still leading the race, according to national polls.

Obama is spending time in Pennsylvania, a battleground state with 21 electoral votes, before moving on to Virginia, a state that usually goes Republican. Obama is hoping to secure the 270 electoral votes he needs to win.

Republican candidate John McCain is pushing hard in Pennsylvania as well, where Obama is leading in the polls. McCain plans to head to North Carolina next, another contested state.

McCain and Obama are both stepping up their attacks on each other's positions on crucial issues.

"This is the fundamental difference between Sen. Obama and me, fundamental difference. We both disagree with President Bush on economic policy. The difference is that he thinks taxes have been too low, and I think that spending has been too high," McCain said during a news conference.

"After 21 months and three debates, Sen. McCain still has not been able to tell the American people a single major thing he'd do differently from George Bush when it comes to the economy, Obama has said.

Voters who want to vote by absentee ballot can do it online or do it in person.

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