Ohio law has allowed early voting since 2005, but the 2010 election will be only the second time that the full slate of statewide offices will be up for election the ballot. Though the political parties, county election boards and yes, even the Tea Party, are now operating with the new system in mind, one question remains: is it all worth it?
Currently the Ohio voting period stretches for 35 days. Voters may vote early for any reason either in person at their county board of elections office or by mail until November 1. Additionally, the law has created the controversial so-called “golden week“, where citizens may register and cast absentee ballots at their board of elections on the same day. In 2009, the early voting law actually resulted in Barak Obama winning the state even though more votes were cast for John McCain on November 4, 2008, “Election Day”. However, it seems that, rather than dramatically increasing voter turnout, early voting is simply forcing a shift in old campaign strategies, due to timing issues, and making voting more convenient for those who otherwise would have voted anyway. Continue reading