Today is the deadline to vote in the election headlined by the presidential election, which pits incumbent Democrat Barack Obama against Republican nominee Mitt Romney and four minor-party challengers and a ballot-certified independent.
The Lucas County Board of Elections will be open until 9 p.m. to accept voter registrations. Many elections boards have extended hours today because offices were closed Monday on Columbus Day.
Voting also will be open at the Lucas County Early Vote Center, 1500 N. Superior St., until 9 p.m. today. Those who register to vote with sufficient time to travel afterward to the Early Vote Center may vote on the same day as they register.
Early voting also will be available at the center from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. weekdays through Oct. 22; until 7 p.m. weekdays through Nov. 1, and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 2. Hours have not yet been set for possible early voting on Nov. 3 through 5.
During the first week of early voting last week, 2,272 Lucas County residents cast ballots, with 928 of those being cast on Oct. 2, the first day, said Meghan Gallagher, the county elections board’s director.
Along with the candidates for president and vice president, Lucas County ballots feature races for Congress, the Ohio General Assembly, two county commissioner seats, county administrative offices, and state and county judges, plus an assortment of state and local referendum and levy questions.
To be qualified to vote in Ohio, one:
—must be a citizen of the United States.
—must be at least 18 years old on or before the day of the general election.
—must be a resident of Ohio for at least 30 days immediately before the election.
—must not be incarcerated, in prison, for a felony conviction under the laws of Ohio, another state, or the United States.
—must not have been declared incompetent for voting purposes by a probate court.
—must not have been permanently disfranchised for violations of the election laws.
Similar qualifications are required in Michigan, where today also is the deadline to register to vote for the Nov. 6 election. Early voting is not allowed in Michigan, although those who are unable, for any of several approved reasons, to vote in person on Election Day may use absentee ballots.
Michigan absentee-ballot applications are due at city or township clerks’ offices by 2 p.m. Nov. 3, and must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Ohio allows absentee voting without requiring voters to state a reason. Except for medical emergencies, applications must be received by noon Nov. 3 by mail or 6:30 p.m. Nov. 2 in person, and must be received at the elections board by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day or postmarked the day before.