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Registration Is Over and Early Voting in Ohio Begins Wednesday Morning

Jeanette Mullane

Boards of elections throughout the state were busy today handling the last rush of registrations and preparing for early voting to begin at 8 Wednesday morning. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the last-minute push to get voters signed up.

The stack of new registrations and updated addresses turned in to the Stark County Board of Elections was about 8 inches high by the 9 p.m. deadline.  Many of those were turned in by groups trying to encourage voting -- ranging from nursing homes to NextGen Climate Ohio, which is appealing to young voters -- especially on commuter and rust-belt college campuses.

Renee Haggerty of NextGen says her group turned in more than a thousand registrations in Ohio on Monday alone. She says the job is far from done.

“Voter registration is a great gateway into actually voting, but that is by no means a guarantee that college students are actually going to go and vote whether that is early voting, absentee or on election day. So our job is to make sure that they have every option possible and actual do the deed."

Early voting hours continue through the Monday before Nov. 8, Election Day.

More accurate lists

Updating the lists

Once all the new registrations and change of address forms are validated, Stark County expects to have 250,000 voters who could begin casting ballots as early as 8 tomorrow  morning.

Deputy Elections Director Jeanne Mullane says that number is about 8,000 fewer than four years ago, but also is a more accurate tally of voters.

“We’ve worked with the secretary of state’s office, bureau of motor vehicles and we’ve worked with the departments of health in cleaning up many of the voter registration rolls.” 

Mullane expects voter turnout on the first day of early voting will be on par or even exceed four years ago, when 500 people showed up.  Early voting hours are from 8-5 weekdays for the next week and a half. Then later evening and weekend hours are added.

M.L. Schultze came to WKSU as news director in July 2007 after 25 years at The Repository in Canton, where she was managing editor for nearly a decade. She’s now the digital editor and an award-winning reporter and analyst who has appeared on NPR, Here and Now and the TakeAway, as well as being a regular panelist on Ideas, the WVIZ public television's reporter roundtable.