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Published: Tuesday, 10/2/2012

Turnout for first day of early voting nearly double that of 2008

BLADE STAFF
Voters cast their votes at the early vote center at Summit Plaza this morning. It's the first day of early voting in Ohio. Voters cast their votes at the early vote center at Summit Plaza this morning. It's the first day of early voting in Ohio.
ZACK CONKLE/THE BLADE Enlarge | Buy This Photo

The first day of early voting in Lucas County is over, and the turnout was nearly twice that of the first day of early voting in 2008.

According to Meghan Gallagher, director of the Lucas County Board of Elections, 928 people voted today at the Early Vote Center, 1500 N. Superior St.

That compares with 500 on the first day of early voting four years ago, the first presidential election in which Ohio had in-person absentee voting for anyone who wanted to vote early.

It was an overwhelmingly Democratic day. Of the 928 voters, 696 were Democrats, 40 were Republicans, and the rest, 192, were members of other parties or were not affiliated with a party. There was a similar balance in favor of Democrats on the first day of early voting in 2008, when President Obama won in Lucas County and Ohio.

Early voting continues every weekday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Oct. 22 when the Early Vote Center will remain open until 7 p.m. on weekdays until Nov. 1. The exceptions are Oct. 8 when the vote center is closed and Oct. 9 when it stays open to 9 p.m. Early voting ends at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2. So far, no weekend voting hours have been scheduled.

The elections board had at least one mix-up during the day. About 8:30 a.m. a voter from Maumee Precinct 6 mistakenly was given a voting card for the 9th Congressional District when the precinct is in the 5th Congressional District. Ms. Gallagher said the pollworker error was brought to their attention after the woman already voted so she could not be allowed to vote again.

Voters leaving the vote center - the site of the former Riverside Hospital in North Toledo - said the process went smoothly despite moderately long lines.

Jeff Stephens, 64, of Whitehouse, said "just wanted to get my vote in."

"Anything can happen between now and Election Day and I didn't want to miss voting if I get run over by a Greyhound bus or something," Mr.Stephens said.



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