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Ohio Voters Line Up For Early Morning Voting On Election Day

Many voters lined up at their local polling location around the state to kick-off the last day of voting in the 2020 election. Even with an emphasis on early voting, there were still long lines spotted in Ohio.

Voters in Canal Winchester were treated to a glowing sunrise on the horizon as they waited to cast their ballots. 

The line stretched to the other side of the parking lot which is unusually long according to Tom Tannehill who has been voting at this precinct for more than 20 years. 

"I think that every election becomes the most important election and I think that people just want to have their voice heard," says Tannehill. 

Voters here say they considered casting absentee ballots but felt more comfortable with their usual routine of voting in person on Election Day. 

Patrick Patterson stood in line as the precinct opened. While he did not say who he voted for, Patterson says he thinks the country needs to "go another direction." 

"I wanted to make sure I had plenty of time to vote and still make it to work on time. So I got out here early, bundled warm, and I was ready," Patterson says.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent precautions, voters were encouraged to cast their vote early, either by mail or at their county early voting center. That resulted in a record number of voters, 3.4 million, who cast their ballot before November 3.

In suburban Powell, just north of Columbus, few people were standing in line on Election Day morning.

Other southern Delaware County polling places were also free of lines on Election Day morning. 41,234 of the 152,000 registered voters in that county had cast their ballots by the end of the early voting period.

While voter protection groups say there have been few problems so far on this Election Day, the Franklin County Board of Elections could not upload all early in-person voting data into their electronic check-in system, so voters had to sign in on paper pollbooks, which caused some delays. 

Collin Marozzi with the ACLU of Ohio says his group is monitoring that situation and isn’t ruling out legal action to keep polls open later because of it. 

“We’re currently in the process of reviewing the facts on the ground and reviewing our options. I will say that nothing is being taken off the table at this point,"

Voter protection advocates from the League of Women Voters of Ohio, All Voting is Local and others say there have been some problems with some people getting curbside voting, which anyone can access. But they haven’t yet received any reports of major showdowns over wearing masks at polling places.  

More than a hundred people were in line as this polling place opened in northeast Columbus, where three precincts are inside.
Karen Kasler /
More than a hundred people were in line as this polling place opened in northeast Columbus, where three precincts are inside.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.
Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.
Contact Karen at 614/578-6375 or at kkasler@statehousenews.org.