Worth Noting

Ohio Early Voting: Not Enough Bang for the Buckeye State

October 05, 2008

Because of a quirk in the law this year, Ohio voters were allowed to register to vote and then cast their ballots on the same day during a brief six-day window. The Ohio Republican Party went to court in an effort to stop this procedure from being implemented, but lost.

A great deal was made about the ability of Democrats to use this new voting rule to their advantage. They were hoping to register many first time voters – such as students – and then ensure that they cast their ballots early right after registering.

Monday was the last day for Ohioans to register and vote on the same day, and apparently the excitement by Democrats at the new voting procedure was much ado about nothing. As I mentioned on Fox News Sunday, the Democratic hope of registering droves of same day voters just didn’t pan out.

Hamilton County, Ohio boasts nearly 600,000 registered voters. How many turned out to register and vote on the same day? 675 people through when the polls closed yesterday. That’s about one tenth of 1% of registered voters.

Cuyahoga County has nearly 1.1 million registered voters. Only 1784 folks showed up to register to vote and then voted on the same day. That’s about one sixth of 1% of registered voters in Cuyahoga County.

Finally, in Franklin County, which has about 825,000 registered voters, only 1776 people registered to vote and voted on the same day during the period through which it was allowed. That’s about one fifth of 1% of registered voters in the county. Franklin County is the home of Ohio State University. This should give Sen. Obama cause to worry about Ohio. All of the talk about Democrats bringing in busloads of early voters, particularly students, to register and then vote didn’t turn into action. There were not many new registrants added to the roll. It seems that those busses of folks being driven to the polls were full of a lot of people that had already registered, and may have simply voted on election day anyway.

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