The state Republican Party also had accused Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat, of using the law for partisan purposes. But the overlap between the beginning of absentee voting 35 days before Election Day, Nov. 4, and the end of registration 30 days before the election has been in Ohio law since 1981.
Officials expected 20,000 to 25,000 voters to turn out after a controversial ruling allowing a voting window where people did not have to wait the required 30 days between registering and being allowed to vote immediately, to which the GOP feared could lead to widespread voting fraud. The AP reports only 4,000 to 5,000 actually took advantage of the new policy.
The low turnout ended up surprising election officials as Steve Harsman, the elections director in Montgomery County, states "With all the hoopla we were anticipating a whole lot more."
The early voting window was expected to benefit Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, as his campaign and supportive advocacy groups drove members of typically Democratic constituencies — the homeless, college students and poor people — to the polls.
More at Toledo Blade.
This was expected to benefit Obama greatly with Democrats hoping he could take a large early lead in Ohio and the lack of people taking advantage of the rule change which survived court challenges, does not bode well for Obama.
Polls may be a snapshot in the minds of respondents of the polls, but nothing speaks louder than actual turnout at the voting booths and today's news has been a great disappointment to the Obama campaign and Democrats in general.
What this could mean is that there are still many people undecided and want to know more about the candidates, specifically Obama since McCain has been in the public eye for decades and Obama is still relatively an unknown quantity and that could bode well for the McCain campaign in the coming weeks.
Now that the gloves have come off, it will be interesting to see the affect the truth about Obama coming to the forefront will have in the remaining weeks until the election.