Hundreds of people in Montgomery County took advantage of early voting this morning and already have cast their ballots.
Jan Kelly, director of the Montgomery County Board of Elections, said the first day of voting is running smoothly. About 400 people had voted in-person by about 9:30 a.m. The process was made smoother by an additional 20 employees the board of elections hired this year to help.
She said her office today will mail approximately 95,000 absentee ballots.
Over a quarter, or about 98,000 of Montgomery County’s approximately 368,000 registered voters, have requested absentee ballots.
Today is the first day for early voting in Ohio. More than 100 people were in line as they waited for the elections office to open at 8 a.m.
People were lined up around two sides of the parking garage as the doors opened. About an hour after the doors opened there was still a line of roughly 100 people outside and cars were waiting to get into the parking garage.
Christopher and Lynnita Davis of Dayton were among the first to vote. When they arrived at approximately 7:30 a.m., the space to line up inside the county building was filled so they waited in the parking garage. More than 100 people lined up behind the Davises to wait outside in the cold.
“We weren’t sure if we were going to be able to trust the mail-in thing,” Christopher Davis said.
While some waiting in the long line that stretched around the parking garage were concerned about election security, others just wanted the satisfaction of casting their ballot as soon as possible.
“I decided I just wanted to do this in person; I didn’t want to wait another day to cast my ballot,” said Jocelyn Rhynard, Dayton Public Schools Board of Education member. “I’ve been waiting for four years to my ballot for the specific election.”
For Jimmy Howard, early in-person voting is the norm. He said he’s been voting early for nearly 15 years.
“It saves me from being in a rush at the last minute,” he said. “I like to go in and get it done as soon as it starts.”
Early voting in the state lasts through Nov. 3. In Montgomery County, registered voters can cast their ballot at the board of elections at 451 W. Third St. in Dayton. For a full schedule of early voting hours in Montgomery County, go here.