CLEVELAND — Tuesday was the last day for Ohioans to register to vote in next month’s election, and thousands of people did just that at the Cuyhoaga County Board of Elections.
The Board of Elections was packed with people registering to vote before Tuesday’s deadline, while others turned out to cast an early ballot.
“It’s crucial right now, you ain’t got no choice but to vote, your future on the line, that’s how I feel,” said newly registered voter Antonio Turner.
“I have a clear choice and I wanted to vote,” said newly registered voter Trudy Ward.
About 200 Cleveland school students who just turned 18 organized a trip to the Board of Elections to register.
“It felt real good to know that I could vote for the first time, 18 and that’s what I consider myself of being proud of, really proud that I voted,” said one student.
“I feel like I had to make a difference in my country,” said first time voter Diquon Lamar-Paylor.
“It’s serious, people need to get out here and vote ’cause if we don’t get out here and vote and then next thing you know people want to complain about not having a president they want, well you should have got up and voted,” said first time voter Kaitlynn Butler.
Elections officials say early voting and registration in Cuyahoga County on Tuesday is running ahead of the pace in 2008.
“We had a lot of folks come in and change their address because they moved and they also voted at the same time, I think it’s a variety of different reasons why people need to come in and change their registration or moved into the county and needed to register,” said Jane Platten, director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.
“I mean whether you think your opinion counts, it really does and every vote counts, so it’s very important for anybody to register,” said newly registered voter Matthew Lawrence.
That’s why Erik Stovall brought his 18-year-old son Darius to the Board of Elections.
“Anybody who has a son or a daughter, you know, you want to make sure they understand what they voting for the first time and it’s a good experience for him,” said Erik Stovall.
“I’m excited about it, I actually feel like I’m making a difference, so pretty much I feel like I made the right decision so we’ll see how this election goes,” said Darius Stovall.
The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections will be open for early voting from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. until Election Day.
The days right before Election Day, the Board will stay open until 7:00 p.m.
Elections officials also want to remind voters that they can also vote by mail.