Ohio: 2 Hour Wait For Early Voters

Line of Ohio voters in Cleveland. Arden Farhi

CBS News' Arden Farhi wrote this story for CBSNews.com.

If today is any indication of what tomorrow holds for voters in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, it could be a very long day in line at the polls.

Voters wishing to cast their ballots a day early waited as long as two hours at the Board of Elections in downtown Cleveland.

Lines weaved throughout the building and stretched around the corner of Euclid Avenue and 30th Street where voters perservered through an on-an-off drizzle.

Despite the weather and wait times, the mood was upbeat and at times celebratory. Supporters of Barack Obama led chants of "Yes We Can," a phrase that has become ubiquitous at Obama rallies. Volunteers from the Obama campaign distributed campaign literature, stickers, bottles of water and snacks to voters in line at this largely democratic precinct.

Early voters are not required to show ID when they vote at the Board of Elections so problems were kept to a minimum, says Mike West, spokesman for the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. Tomorrow, voters will have to have proper photo identification in order to vote which has led to problems in the past.

The turnout in this mostly African American area not surprisingly seemed to favor Obama heavily.

Marie Daugherty, who stood in line close to two hours, said it was worth the wait. "Anything can happen tomorrow," said Daugherty.

And it just might. In the city of Cleveland, only 14% of voters have voted early or absentee. With registration at an all-time high and a bigger than normal turnout expected tomorrow, wait times could be even longer.

By Arden Farhi
By Arden Farhi
  • Arden Farhi

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