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Early voting and debate effect
Many early voters say they want to wait until after Wednesday's debate to cast their ballot

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
Dozens of people camped outside the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections on Cleveland's Euclid Avenue Monday night to mark the start of early voting Tuesday.
Courtesy of Brian Bull
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In The Region:

Tuesday, October 2nd, begins early voting in Ohio, with county boards of elections sending out hundreds of thousands of absentee ballots and holding polling hours on most weekdays so people can vote in person. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on what’s expected in the earliest days of early voting.

Early voting and debate effect

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Here's a look at what the new business hours will be when in-person, early voting begins on Tuesday:

—Tuesday-Friday; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

—Oct. 8; closed, in observance of Columbus Day.

—Oct. 9; 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., to allow for late voter registration.

—Oct. 10-Oct. 12 and Oct. 15-19; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

—Oct. 22-Oct. 26 and Oct. 29-Nov. 1; 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

—Nov. 2; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m

This is the first year that every registered voter in the state is getting absentee ballot applications in the mail.  That, which means this first week of voting at many county boards of elections will be dominated with getting paper ballots in the mail.

But beginning at 8 a.m., the elections boards also must be ready for walk-in.

Phil Giavasis of the Stark County Board of Elections says lots of voters have made up their minds, but he still expects a slight lag in early voting caused by another major event this week.

“Personally, I believe if you haven’t made up your mind by now given all the mail and commercials and coverage – but some people seem to be undecided and they’re going to wait for the debates. The first debate is Wednesday, (so) I don’t look for the lines to form before that.”

Though early voting is beginning this week, Ohioans still can’t know how long it will extend. That’s because a federal judge has struck down a GOP-passed state law that bars early voting the weekend and Monday before the election except for military and overseas voters. Attorney General Mike DeWine is appealing that and another judge’s ruling that when poll workers mistakenly direct voters to the wrong precinct, those votes should still count. 

(Click image for larger view.)

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