Local Dems camp out for early voting at Board of Elections

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - About two dozen people camped out in front of the Board of Elections on Broadway Street in downtown Cincinnati Monday night.

This is the fifth year of the "Sleep Out to Vote" event aimed at promoting early voting in Ohio. "We should continue to allow early voting particularly allowing younger people to have more time - and older people to participate," said organizer and Cincinnati city council member, Christopher Smitherman.

Ohio's elections chief says he's confident the presidential battleground state is prepared for the start of early voting on Tuesday.

Ohioans can cast an early ballot by mail or in person for the Nov. 6 election without having to give a reason.

This fall marks the first time absentee ballot applications are being mailed to every registered voter statewide. Secretary of State Jon Husted said Monday that more than 922,000 people have applied so far for an absentee ballot.

He said it's unclear how that number compares to the last presidential election, because the state didn't collect that data on mailed ballots.

About 30 percent of Ohio's total vote - or roughly 1.7 million ballots - came in ahead of Election Day in 2008. "It's helpful to vote early because you don't have to worry about something happening on Election Day or having difficulty getting to the polls or if we have a weather event," said Hamilton County Republican party Chairman, Alex Triantafilou. "There are lots of good reasons to get out and vote early."

Copyright 2012 WXIX. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.