By Kristin Bednarski
Oct. 2 marked the first day of voting in Ohio, and while residents didn’t camp out at the board of elections in Clermont County like they did in Hamilton County, they did start filing through the doors when the office opened to cast their votes.
Residents came out to vote early for several reasons. Some were leaving on vacation, one resident was in the military and heading back to base camp and some had simply made up their minds and were ready to cast their votes.
“It’s easier,” Romain Walker, of Batavia, said about voting early. “I don’t want to have to worry about it on that day.”
William and Sarah Wilson, of Eastgate, wanted to make sure they voted as soon as they could also.
“Something may happen,” William Wilson said about not making it to the polls on election day.
Dr. Pedro Rademacher, another resident, stopped by to pick up an absentee ballot because he would be leaving for Chile and would be away during the election.
“I don’t want to waste my vote,” Rademacher said. “It’s too important.”
Gary and Jan Burns, of New Richmond, were also headed out of town.
“I haven’t missed an election since I could vote,” Jan Burns said. “It’s important.”
Michael Torok, of Bethel, said he was on leave from the military and would soon be returning to Afghanistan.
“It just worked out,” Torok said about voting early before he left.
Torok said he believes voting is a civic duty, which is why he wanted to make sure he voted before he left the county.
For the majority of Clermont County residents in the military, voting at the board of elections wasn’t an option.
Judy Miller, director of the board of elections, said ballots were sent to registered voters in the military on Sept. 22.
She said absentee ballots for all other registered voters who have requested a ballot will begin going out Oct. 2.
Miller said Secretary of State Jon Husted recently set office hours, including extended hours, for board of elections offices across the state so they would be consistent.
Miller said Oct. 2-5 the board of elections will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Oct. 9, the last day for voters to registers to be able to vote in the November election, the office will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Oct. 10-12 and Oct. 15-19 the office will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Then on Oct. 22-26 and Oct. 29-Nov. 1, the office will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
On Nov. 2, the office will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Miller said Nov. 2 will be the last day for early voting, pending the outcome of the Obama vs. Husted case.
She said President Barack Obama is challenging the current law that ends in-person early voting days before the election.
“If the case passes that could extend to the fifth,” Miller said about in-person early voting.
For updates on office hours for voting as well as information for voters, visit www.clermontelections.org.