Early Voting Law May Help Obama in Ohio

One-step voting window could boost youth turnout
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2008 4:35 PM CDT
Mike Sandberg of Columbus, Ohio, gets instructions on the electronic voting machines from election official Patricia Powell as Sandberg prepares to cast his absentee ballot Thursday, Feb. 14, 2008.   (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)
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(Newser) – An Ohio voting law that allows residents to register and vote simultaneously one month before the election may benefit Barack Obama, the AP reports. With one-stop voting available on college campuses Sept. 30 to Oct. 6, thousands could be added to the voter rolls—and Obama leads McCain 2-to-1 among 18- to 34-year-olds. Ninety percent of the nearly half a million college students in Ohio are said to be state residents.

State Republicans have threatened to sue if the one-week window, now available mostly in campus-heavy areas, is not made available statewide. In 2004, John Kerry lost by just 118,000 votes, giving the electoral victory to Bush; only 53% of 18- to 24-year olds voted that year.