Ohio residents casting first ballots

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Ohio residents are among the first in the country to vote for president Tuesday.

Residents of the crucial swing state are now able to take advantage of a disputed early voting law and start casting their absentee ballots today. The Ohio Supreme Court and two separate federal judges yesterday cleared the way for voting to begin.

Starting Tuesday, Ohio will allow new voters to register and cast absentee ballots on the same day. The voting window ends October 6th.

When the doors opened at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections this morning, five people were ready and waiting.

The early voting law has been the subject of several court battles. The outcome is likely to benefit Democrats in a state that narrowly helped President Bush win re-election in 2004.

Barack Obama's campaign has organized car pools from college campuses to early voting sites today. The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless is also ferrying voters from homeless shelters to polls in the Cleveland area.

John McCain's presidential campaign has not provided many details on how it intends to take advantage of the early voting, but still plans to push it.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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