Early voting in Ohio started Tuesday

By David Skolnick



There’s still plenty of time to cast a ballot for the May 6 primary, but some people took the opportunity to vote early, as they described it, to get it out of the way.

Tuesday was the first day in Ohio for those wanting to vote in person at county boards of elections as well as the first day boards could mail out absentee ballots to those who requested them.

Thomas and Elenora Sipp of Youngstown were among the first to vote Tuesday at the Mahoning County Board of Elections.

“We’re just trying to get it over with so we don’t have to stand in line at our polling place,” she said. “It’s a convenience. We can do it at home through the mail, but we like to come here to vote.”

John and Peggy Remias of Austintown also voted Tuesday morning. Peggy is a pollworker who was at the board of elections office at Oakhill Renaissance Place on Oak Hill Avenue in Youngstown, for Election Day training.

“I don’t miss an election,” said her husband, a retired government teacher. “We vote absentee because it’s convenient. You don’t have to wait in line.”

About 100 people, several of them pollworkers, voted in person at the board Tuesday.

“I don’t expect a big turnout this election,” said Joyce Kale-Pesta, board director. “The primary is very quiet, so I’m very happy with the turnout” Tuesday.

Leon Turek of Boardman said he voted early for the second-straight year.

“It’s very convenient,” he said.

So why the first day?

“No reason,” he said. “I was driving by, and I had some free time. I just want to get it done. I vote so I have the right to complain.”

With voters going in and out of the board office, various candidates’ supporters were outside urging people to vote.

Cynthia McWilson of Youngstown, a Democratic candidate for the 58th Ohio House District seat, spent several hours Tuesday seeking support from early voters.

“Early voters are very important,” she said. “They like to see the candidate here. It’s a good way to get the campaign some attention.”

Monday is the deadline to register for the May 6 primary with extended hours until 9 p.m.

Those wanting to vote by mail have until May 3, three days before the primary, to request a ballot from their county board of elections, or a request can be made by going to MyOhioVote.com, an Ohio secretary of state website.

Absentee ballots must be delivered in person to boards of elections no later than the 7:30 p.m. close of the polls on Election Day for them to be counted. Absentee ballots cannot be returned at polling locations.

Early voting through Friday is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Early voting on Monday is from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. The hours are extended because it’s the last day to register for the primary.

Then, it returns to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. next Tuesday through April 11, and from April 14 to May 2 on weekdays. The only weekend early-voting hours are 8 a.m. to noon May 3, the Saturday before the May 6 primary.

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