YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – You don’t have to wait until Nov. 7 to vote in the election. You can vote now. Early voting continues to grow in popularity.
Early voting started Wednesday at county boards of election. Some voters were anxious to get their vote in, and others heard about it on TV.
“I said let me go ahead and vote and get it over with, and all the things that were on the ballot were very important. Everyone should come out and cast their vote,” said Antoinette Gomes-Jones, of Youngstown.
The convenience of early voting is what draws voters to the polls. They can choose a time that works for them to submit their vote.
“Usually, when you wait for the last minute to do something, things don’t seem to work out,” said Barbara McKinney, of Youngstown.
Most of the candidates had signs outside the polling location. Those are important races in your neighborhood, but the big draw is two statewide issues that are getting most of the attention, even for people who regularly vote ahead of Election Day.
“We do early voting. The main thing I wanted — pass the marijuana law,” said Charlie Jones, of Youngstown.
The Board of Elections started preparing about a month ago. It was a short cycle after the August special election, but the machines are set up and have been tested to make sure the count will be accurate. Voting may be heavier heading toward Election Day, but the set-up was the same.
“We’re expecting more of a turnout, of course, for the November election than we did in the August election, but we had a great turnout in August for a special election,” said Tom McCabe, director of the Mahoning County Board of Elections.
Roughly 200 people voted in Mahoning County on the first day of early voting in August. And today, the number was very close to that.
Early voting is 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and then the same time Monday through Friday for the next two weeks, before the hours are extended.
One thing to remember with early voting — If you change your mind on an issue or candidate, you can’t change your vote. Once the vote has been submitted, it’s in and can’t be changed.