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Published: Tuesday, 10/19/2004

Absentee balloting available at Michigan, Ohio elections offices

BY STEVE EDER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Registered voters in Ohio and Michigan who won't be able to cast ballots on election day are being reminded that they don't have to wait for Nov. 2 to voice their preferences.

In both states, residents can simply show up at local elections' offices and cast absentee ballots on the spot if they declare that they will be out of town on election day. This form of in-person absentee voting concludes on the eve of the election.

In Ohio, absentee ballots are available at boards of elections until the close of business on Nov. 1. In Michigan, voters applying in person can obtain absentee ballots from their city or township clerk until 4 p.m on Nov. 1. Both states require residents declare acceptable excuses for voting absentee, which include illnesses, old age, being out of town, working the elections, religious beliefs, and active military duty.

"It isn't that I just want to come in and vote early and get it over with so I don't have to wait in a long line on election day," said Paula Hicks-Hudson, the director of the Lucas County Board of Elections.

"If a person is going to be out of the county, they can come here."

So far, Ms. Hicks-Hudson said most of the absentee ballots received by the county have come from people who will be out-of-town on Nov. 2.

Those who won't be able to make it to the polls may also request absentee ballots by mail. Those applications must be received by 12 p.m. on Oct. 30 in Ohio and by 2 p.m. on Oct. 30 in Michigan.

Other than those voting outside the country, absentee ballots must be submitted by 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 2 in Ohio. In Michigan, absentee ballots must be received by clerks' offices by 8 p.m. on election day.

For more information, Ohio voters can visit www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/elections/ or call (614) 466-2585. Michigan voters can go to www.michigan.gov/vote or call (517) 373-2540.



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