[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/04/art.nmvote1104.ap.jpg caption="Some voters took advantage of early voting in New Mexico."]
(CNN) - Officials in Dona Ana County, New Mexico say they are having problems with absentee ballots. But it's unclear just how many voters may not see their vote count.
Jess Williams, public information officer for the county, said of 11,985 absentee ballots requested, 8,141 have been processed. As of midday Tuesday, the number of outstanding absentee ballots is 3,844.
And the Bureau of Elections is still getting calls from residents who have not yet received their absentee ballots, Williams said. He said those voters may go to the polling place where they are registered to request a provisional ballot and they will be allowed to vote.
While that may be an option for some, many voters vote absentee because health problems keep them from going to the polls. Others are away at college, in the military, or out of town for other reasons, and showing up in person may not be possible.
In order to be counted, absentee ballots must reach the county clerk's Office no later than 7pm local time on election day. Absentee ballots also can be delivered to polling places on election day, but only the voter can deliver it.
Both Democrats and Republicans in the county say they are getting calls from voters who feel they've been left out.
Chris Salas, a spokesman for the county Democratic party, said the party office was getting "tons of calls" from people complaining because they have not gotten ballots. Gen Mitchell, a volunteer at the Dona Ana County Republican party, said "legally they were supposed to have them [absentee ballots] out, and they didn't get them out."