UPDATE: Early Voting Kicks Off in Battleground Ohio

By: Josh McComas, The Associated Press Email
By: Josh McComas, The Associated Press Email

UPDATE 10/2/12 @ 7 p.m.
PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Burness Adams of South Webster, Ohio, doesn't drive far these days without a handful of voter registration papers.

"I ask people straight out if they're registered," Adams says. "If they're not, I say, 'Well, honey, here's the paperwork right here. Let's sign you up.' "

Ohio is a key battleground state in the 2012 Presidential Election. Polls show the President leading in the state that voted in a Republican governor in the last election.

No Republican has ever won the White House who lost Ohio.

"We've been very busy" says Julia Gearheart, the Board of Elections Director in Scioto County "We're Ohio and they're saying Ohio is going to be the deciding factor."

The first Presidential Debate is set for Wednesday, Oct. 3. Several people who walked in to the Scioto County Board of Elections Office planned to wait to cast their ballots after the debates.

"I've seesawed back and forth," says Karen Woods of Wheelersburg, Ohio. "I think my mind's pretty well made up by this point. I've watched all the candidates down the line, and my mind's made up."

PORTSMOUTH, Oh (WSAZ & AP) -- Voters in swing state Ohio are getting a chance to cast an early ballot for president, U.S. Senate and other races.

Early voting for the Nov. 6 election started Tuesday, with Ohioans able to vote by mail or in person without having to give a reason.

In Portmouth. the line to vote already formed before the Board of Elections office opened it's doors at 8 am.

"If you don't vote, you got no right to complain," says Burness Adams, of South Webster, Ohio. "I keep voter registration cards in my car, just to pass them out."

President Barack Obama's brother-in-law, Oregon State basketball coach Craig Robinson, stopped by the elections board in Cleveland and greeted people waiting to vote. According to The Associated Press, Robinson said he was there to support his family and the country.

First Lady Michelle Obama planned to visit Cincinnati to kick off early voting.

Republican Mitt Romney's campaign also planned a get-out-the-vote bus tour in southwest Ohio and elsewhere.

In Columbus, people lined up outside a closed department store to cast their ballots.

"Interest has been high," says director Julia Gearheart. "It wouldn't surprise me if we have 150 people come through the doors today."

"I've been going back and forth, reading up on the candidates," says Karen Wood of Wheelersburg, Ohio. "But now I've made up my mind and I'm voting early."

Voters can fill out their ballots at the courthouse or taken them home and mail them back.

The last day to register in the state of Ohio is October 9, 2012.

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