© 2024 Ideastream Public Media

1375 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
(216) 916-6100 | (877) 399-3307

WKSU is a public media service licensed to Kent State University and operated by Ideastream Public Media.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
2020 is looking to be a pivotal year in politics. But this year's elections are about much more than the race for the White House. And the coronavirus pandemic is proving to be a complicating factor. WKSU, our colleagues at public radio stations across Ohio and the region and at NPR will bring you coverage of all the races from the national to the local level.

Line Stretches for Blocks on Cuyahoga County's First Early Voting Weekend

a photo of voters in line in Cuyahoga County
Gabriel Kramer
Some voters waited more than two hours to vote early on Oct. 24, the first early voting weekend day in Ohio.

The first weekend day of early in-person voting in Cuyahoga brought huge crowds and lines that stretched for blocks.

At one point Saturday morning, the line wrapped around the block from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections building on East 30th Street and Euclid Ave.

It extended to Chester Avenue and passed the I-90 bridge – touching the Cleveland State University campus. Police officials at one point had to redirect the line, which had swerved onto the highway ramp.

Gabriel Kramer
Vote to Live,  a non-partisan organization, brought a DJ to keep the line of voters entertained at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

Early voting in Ohio began Oct. 6 and a steady stream of voters has been taking advantage of the opportunity to cast their ballot before Election Day. The response, however, in Cuyahoga County’s first weekend opportunity to cast a ballot was even larger than previous days.

Although some voters had to wait more than two hours in line to vote, the atmosphere was often light and festive. A small dance party broke out at a tent catty-corner to the board of elections entrance.

The sounds of Bell Biv DeVoe and Roddy Rich resonated with several people dancing while waiting in the long line, including Euclid resident Savannah McCarthy.

McCarthy came with two friends to vote early. The three of them live in different voting precincts, so early voting gave them a chance to cast their ballots together at the same location, McCarthy said. 

“You can come by yourself. You can come with your parents, but it’s something special when you get a group of young people together that care enough about their community and their nation to come out, put their ballots in, get your sticker. It’s a good time,” McCarthy said.

Another young voter, 19-year-old Maggie Carter, said this was her first time voting in a presidential election.

“I think it’s really important that all of us young people go out and vote,” Carter said.

Gabriel Kramer
Some people waited in line for more than two hours to vote. Early voting is available in Cuyahoga County through November 2.

Carter said she hoped she wouldn’t have to wait more than an hour to get to the front of the line.

Solon residents Lori and Dan Sikon said they waited almost two hours before stepping inside the building. It was worth the wait, they said.

“We want to be part of history,” Lori Sikon said.

Timm Harris, from Bedford, echoed that sentiment about being part of a historic event. 

Gabriel Kramer
Jon Lee and Latanya Brazzell, from Highland Heights, voted early on Saturday at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

“It’s worth the wait, my friend,” Harris said. “A lot of people went through a whole lot just to vote and this year is the 100th anniversary of all women getting the right to vote," Harris said.

So far, 2020 has been an historic year and full of uncertainties, which is why Highland Heights residents Latanya Brazzell and Jon Lee said they decided to vote early rather than wait for Nov. 3.

“I feel like this is a particular election where we can’t leave anything to chance,” Lee said. “We got to make absolutely sure that we get our votes in."

Early voting is available in Ohio at county boards of elections every day through 2 p.m. Nov. 2.

Copyright 2020 90.3 WCPN ideastream.

Gabriel Kramer is a reporter/producer and the host of “NewsDepth,” Ideastream Public Media's news show for kids.