October 22, 2014

Elyria
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Big demand for early voting means hourlong waits Sunday

LORAIN — On the first ever Sunday of early voting in Lorain County, city resident Angel Ortiz was the last person in line.

Ortiz was one of about 125 voters outside the Lorain County Board of Elections at 5 p.m. when voting officially ended for the weekend. Those in line before 5 p.m. were given tickets allowing them to vote.

Ortiz, 43, said he works 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Areway — a metal finishing company in Brooklyn — and early voting was more convenient for him.

“It’s better for me to come early,” he said. “It doesn’t conflict with my hours.”

Ortiz, who said he was voting for President Barack Obama because his company had benefited from Obama’s $80 billion auto bailout, said he also voted for Obama in 2008. Ortiz, who waited about an hour to vote, said it was worth the wait.

Jim Grace of Elyria also said it was worth the wait.

“I want to send a message to the people who were trying to subvert early voting,” Grace said.

Roughly 300 people were in line at the peak of voting, which began at 1 p.m., according to Paul Adams, Lorain County Board of Elections director. Adams, who has 18 full-time staff and 42 temporary workers hired for the election, said feedback from voters has been mainly positive despite long lines.

“It looks as if we’re being able to process them faster than we did in 2008,” he said. “We’ve had the last couple of years to assess our process and to improve it.”

Staff photographer Chuck Humel contributed to this story. Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.