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Early voting begins in Lawrence

Voting
Oct. 02, 2012 @ 11:45 PM

IRONTON -- While Lawrence County election officials are preparing to mail out several thousand absentee ballots this week, about 50 people got a head start on the election process Tuesday, the first day people could vote in Ohio.

The board of elections office on the first floor of the Lawrence County Courthouse in Ironton will be open for early voting weekdays through Friday, Nov. 2. At this point, there will be no weekend voting in Ohio in this presidential year. However, that could change, said Mark McCown, an Ironton lawyer and a member of the elections board.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican, has ordered no weekend hours for early voting in this election, but that order is being challenged in court in a case that currently is undecided.

"We've had a steady flow of early voters," Kathy Overbeck, director of the county board of elections, said Tuesday afternoon. The board already has received 3,500 applications for absentee votes, the most ever at this time in the election.

"The absentee ballots are supposed to be here (Wednesday)," Overbeck, a Republican, said. "We hope to start mailing them out on Thursday."

Husted's office has mailed out absentee ballot applications to every voter in the Buckeye State, Overbeck said. The way things are going, the number of absentee ballots to be mailed in could top the more than 6,000 that were counted in the 2008 presidential election in Lawrence County, she said.

The elections board office will be open for early voting from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays through the end of the week, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 10-12, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 15-19, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 22-26, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 29 through Nov. 1 and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2.

The office will be closed Monday, Oct. 8, because of a state holiday.

The local board has hired four more people on a temporary basis to help out through the election, Overbeck said.

Anyone with questions can call the board at 740-532-0444. They also can check out the board's website www.electionsonthe.net/oh/lawrence.

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