Record-breaking numbers on first day of early voting in Cuyahoga County

Record-breaking numbers on first day of early voting in Cuyahoga County

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The early options for voters to cast a ballot in the upcoming presidential election are now available in Ohio.

Registered Ohioans can vote in person at county board of elections, as of 8 a.m. on Tuesday.

Here’s what you need to know:

Early voting: Here's what you need to know

Long lines form as early voting for presidential election begins in Ohio https://bit.ly/3nqA9ky

Posted by Cleveland 19 News on Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Mike West with the Cuyahoga County Board of Election tells 19 News that on Tuesday, 1,766 voters, voted on the first day of early voting. That number, dwarfs the first day of early voting in 2016 of 1,182.

Three options are available for Ohio voters, including:

  • Vote by mail
    • Mail-in ballots must be requested by Oct. 31, postmarked no later than Nov. 3, and received by the board of elections by Nov. 13.
    • Mail-in ballots can also be dropped off at the local board of elections.
  • Vote in person early at local board of elections
    • Weekdays, Oct. 6 to Oct. 16, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Weekdays, Oct. 19 to Oct. 23, from 8 a.m.-6 p.m
    • Saturday, Oct. 24, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
    • Sunday, Oct. 25, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Weekdays, Oct. 26 to Oct. 30, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
    • Saturday, Oct. 31, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Sunday, Nov. 1, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Monday, Nov. 2, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Vote in person on Election Day from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

At the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, lines reached from Euclid to Chester before opening at 8 am. Community Outreach Department Manager, Mike West said “we were very happy to see people are very eager and passionate to vote before we opened.” He said “the lines will appear longer than they really are. We’ve added a couple minutes for a health screening and if you come and vote early you’ll see we’re taking all the precautions possible, sanitizing people separating people, when you get a pen we let you keep it.”

West said by noon, 796 people had voted, as opposed to four years ago when they had 1182 vote over the entire first day.

Carmen Wildgoose is a retired teacher. She said she’s never missed a chance to vote. This year is no exception. She stood in line in full COVID protective gear to cast her ballot the first chance she got. “I want to be here in person. If I can get dressed to go grocery shopping, I can get in all my gear to come here and cast my vote.”

She said it’s important for her to vote in person because “there’s so much chaos and confusion and they’re stirring up so much fear, so I figured if I can get my vote in get it banked early then on the day of election they won’t be any challenges.”

At the line’s height Tuesday, voters at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections said it took them about 40 minutes to an hour start to finish.

Monica Green with Ohio Black Voters Matter, who was passing out BLM masks and buttons, said no matter how you vote, “it’s just important to encourage [everyone] to vote, because if you don’t, you leave your life in other people’s hands.”

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