Hundreds Cast Votes at Ohio’s Early Voting Kick-Off

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CLEVELAND – Tuesday was the first day of early voting in Ohio and hundreds of people showed up to vote at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

“This is a very crucial election and I wanted to make sure I got my man in, President Obama, so I decided to come out early and hope the early bird gets the worm,” said Lillye Mahone from Euclid.

By noon on Tuesday, more than 1,000 people had cast their ballots at the main office on Euclid Avenue. 

By comparison, on the first day of early voting in 2008 approximately 500 voters cast their ballots.

“Voting early at the Board of Elections is more well-known now, more popular, and I think that because there’s no weekend voting – for this period of time – they’re trying to get out the vote earlier,” said Jane Platten, director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. 

*To download an absentee ballot application, go to www.MyOhioVote.com.

“Right now, we’re open 8 to 5 Monday to Friday, as we get closer to the election, we’ll be open 8 to 7.”

According to the county website, here are the hours to vote at the board of elections:

• 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, from October 2, 2012 through October 5, 2012;
• 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 9, 2012;
• 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Wednesday through Friday, from October 10, 2012 through October 12, 2012;
• 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, from October 15, 2012 through October 19, 2012;
• 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, from October 22, 2012 through October 26, 2012;
• 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, October 29, 2012 through November 1, 2012; and
• 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Friday, November 2, 2012.

To vote, a resident of one of Ohio’s 88 counties must go to the board office in the county where they reside. They must have the last four digits of their social security number, their driver’s license number, a utility bill or a government document. A voter can show-up, register and vote on the same day, through Tuesday, October 9th, which is the deadline to register.

“A lot of people are getting a lot of phone calls from the various campaigns, if you go ahead and vote early, those calls are gonna stop - at least among the campaigns that know what they're doing,” said Robert Frost from the Republican Party of Cuyahoga County.

On Tuesday, GOP volunteers rallied supporters through phone banks and various “Commit to Mitt” events statewide. 

“We need a change in the administration, we need to elect Mitt Romney and our voters can't wait to make that change,” said Frost.

Senator Nina Turner slept outside the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections where she was among some of the first people to vote for President Obama. 

“He’s doing more than trying, he’s standing up for womens’ rights and voters’ rights and workers’ rights - you know, I would rather have a president who’s trying than a wannabe who’s lying,” said Senator Turner.

Ohio's Secretary of State established uniform early voting hours for all the state's 88 counties.  There are no weekend hours. Previously, local boards of election could set their own hours, and weekend voting varied.

Election day is Tuesday, November 6th.

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