YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Early voting kicks off early Wednesday morning across the State of Ohio.
In the Valley, doors at county Boards of Elections opened at 8 a.m.:
- Columbiana County Board of Elections: 7989 Dickey Dr Suite 3, Lisbon
- Mahoning County Board of Elections: 345 Oak Hill Ave., Youngstown
- Trumbull County Board of Elections: 2947 Youngstown Rd SE, Warren
Dozens of voters in Mahoning County were lined up outside of the board of elections office way before it opened Wednesday.
The cooler temperatures didn’t keep some Youngstown State students from casting their votes early. They slept in tents outside.
“It was pretty worth it, just being one of the first people out here and making sure my voice was heard,” Evelyn Coch said.
Once the doors opened, those who patiently waited were ready to fill out their ballots. It was Coch’s first time voting.
“You know, being a kid, you don’t really get much of a say in anything and now I get a say in who gets to run our country,” she said.
Coch encourages everyone to take part in early voting.
“I think it’s really important because there are so many extraneous circumstances that could happen on November 8 that could prevent you from voting, whether it be weather or scheduling commitments.”
The quintessential swing state of Ohio will weigh in, marking which historic candidate should receive the state’s nod for the presidency.
Typically, the last weeks before the voter registration deadline are the most beneficial, but political experts believe early voting could actually determine a winner come Nov. 8.
According to the Mahoning County Board of Elections, these results will have more impact than ever this year, as record numbers of people are expected to cast their votes early.
“The first day of early voting you can walk in and vote,” said Tom McCabe, deputy director of the Mahoning County Board of Elections. “We’re expecting a pretty good crowd here. There’s actually a sleepover at Oakhill Renaissance Place [Tuesday night] for people to be the first in line when early voting starts, and people will be voting for, basically, the next 28 days.”
Absentee voting in Ohio also starts Wednesday.
According to the Mahoning County Board of Elections, they have already had over 260,000 absentees. This is above the number they did in the last two presidential elections in 2008 and 2012.
Those who have filled out an absentee application over the last couple of months can expect to see them arrive in the mail soon. Forms must be signed, completed and sent to the county board of elections office to be received by noon on Nov. 5.
Ohio’s early voting continues until Nov. 7.