SHEFFIELD TWP. — Whether it is excitement for the candidates — or a fear of lines on election day — tens of thousands of Lorain County residents are choosing to vote early, an elections official said.
The number of mail absentee requests for ballots is now larger than the total number of mail absentee ballots counted in 2008, according to Lorain County Board of Elections Director Paul Adams.
Hundreds of the requests for absentee ballots are still arriving each day, Adams said.
So far, there have been 33,877 requests for mail absentee ballots — more than the 33,833 absentee ballots counted in the 2008 election between Barack Obama and John McCain.
Voters also are flocking to vote at elections board headquarters at 1985 North Ridge Road E. in Sheffield Township, according to Adams.
On Friday alone, there were 1,049 in-office voters.
Even with so many casting ballots, the voting at the elections board is taking place fairly efficiently, according to Adams.
“There is probably at various times 15- to 25-minute waits,” he said.
In 2008, the line of people waiting to vote early at the board of elections snaked all of the way to Marco’s Pizza in the next block, Adams said.
People may vote at the elections board 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday; 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday; 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday; and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday.
Hours at polling places Nov. 6 are 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Hourslong waits in line on Election Day in 2000 and 2004 caused difficulties, and the problem was especially bad in Oberlin.
Ruth Palmer of the Oberlin NAACP said the unit is providing rides to the polls on election day and to the election offices in Sheffield Township for early voting.
She recalls the massive wait at First Church in Oberlin in 2004 when President George W. Bush defeated U.S. Sen. John Kerry.
“Good Lord, it was awful,” Palmer said. “It must have taken about four hours and we were so disgusted we almost wanted to leave.”
“There were a lot of Oberlin College students who let us older folks in front of them,” she said.
Palmer said Oberlin residents may call (440) 935-2558 or email Ruth.Palmer@itsalllive.com for help with early voting or any voting-related issue.
Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or email@example.com.