Early voting has started in Ohio. Citizens in Virginia and a handful of other states have been voting since last week. Citizens in Ohio started voting this morning.
The Obama campaign encourages early voting, because a vote today is a vote banked for November 4.
The Ohio Secretary of State's office has instructions on how and where to vote today on a county-by-county basis. You can also use the office's map-based page to find early voting locations. Instructions: "Click on your county for the address, hours of operation, a link to individualized directions and any other additional information regarding your county’s early voting site." The Secretary of State's office also has instructions on how to vote absentee, including all of the information the state requires, a downloadable form to use, and guides to the correct addresses for each county's board of elections.
Last night, Aaron Pickrell sent this message out:
Just hours ago, the Ohio Supreme Court and a federal judge in Cleveland issued two similar decisions, and they were loud and clear -- the voters won.Early voting allows the campaign to bank votes now, as Obama is surging in the polls and Americans recoil from the reckless and ignorant behavior of the Republican ticket. Early voting may mean the difference in winning House seats currently held by Republicans Ralph Regula, Deborah Pryce, Steve Chabot and Mean Jean Schmidt, if we bank enough Democratic votes to overcome the habits of too many other Republicans to reflexively push the GOP button. Early voting allows those of us interested in volunteering to get other voters out the chance to get our votes recorded early and free us up for whatever GOTV work is needed in the final days.
In a cynical political ploy, the Ohio Republican Party filed suit to try to change a law that Republicans wrote and a Republican governor passed -- a bill that established Ohio's "One-Stop Early Voting" period, during which a new voter can register and vote at the same time from September 30 to October 6. One-Stop Early Voting occurred in Ohio without incident in 2006.
The Republicans were trying to keep new voices out of the political process. But their attempt at voter suppression was so brazen that the federal judge wrote in his decision, "Candidly, the underlying merits of issues are not even close," and that the Republican position "would lead to illogical results, potentially disenfranchising large numbers of voters."
Starting tomorrow you can vote early for Barack Obama and Joe Biden. And until next Monday you can register to vote.
Again, One-Stop Early Voting, which lets people register and early vote all at once, starts tomorrow. We have just 7 days to register as many voters as possible.
This unprecedented voter registration and Early Vote effort will only be successful with you. We're counting on Obama supporters like you to make it possible.
All across Ohio we have early vote and voter registration events taking place this week. Join us at one of our 79 Ohio offices and get involved in this week's organizing:
In 2004, George W. Bush won our state by only 118,601 votes, or about 9 votes per precinct.
This year, Ohio is once again a crucial state. Every single registration and every single early vote could make the difference.
We can't do it without you.
Thanks for all that you do,
Ohio State Director
Obama for America