Sunday, October 31, 2004
Percentage voting may be highest since '92
The secretary of state predicts about 73 percent of Ohio's 7.98 million registered voters will cast ballots Tuesday.
Ken Blackwell says he based that on information provided his office by county boards of elections.
Calculations were derived from the total number of registered voters, turnout in similar elections and specific local factors, such as local races and ballot issues.
Ohio voter turnout for the general election in 2000 was 63 percent; turnout in 1996 was 68 percent; turnout in 1992 was 77 percent.
Ohioans will use three different systems to vote Tuesday.
Sixty-eight counties will use punch-card machines. Voters use a stylus to punch a hole through paper cards, which are fed into machines that read the spaces.
Thirteen counties (including Clermont) will use optical scan machines. Voters use a pencil to mark a space next to the candidate's name, and the ballots are run through a machine that reads the marks.
Seven counties will use electronic touch-pad machines that record votes with the press of a button next to the candidate's name. Votes are tallied on computer chips stored in the machines, then read at the board of elections.
FOREST, Ohio - Retired history teacher Jim Taylor knows his political campaign buttons - all 4,000 of them.
He keeps them in what his family has dubbed the "history room" of his home in this village 70 miles south of Toledo. Taylor had the room added to his house when his hobby outgrew his habitat.
Taylor, 54, is retired as an American history teacher at Riverdale High School. He now teaches part time at the University of Findlay and a local community college.
Taylor got the button bug during the 1960 campaign in which John F. Kennedy defeated Richard Nixon. The best of them have played a key role in determining an election, he said.
"The guy who gets the most terrific slogan is the one who wins. 'I like Ike,' for example. That's ingrained in all of us," Taylor said.
He's holding off a prediction for the outcome of Tuesday's election - at least by looking at the buttons.
"Not this time," he said, pointing to a display of more than 100 buttons for Sen. John Kerry and President Bush. "Sometimes they stick. Sometimes they don't."
Taylor has seen Bush and Kerry at nearby rallies this year, but his favorite was Kennedy, he said. He even has some re-election items made before Kennedy's assassination on Nov. 22, 1963, including a set of mini-California license plates: "JFK 464."
"Kennedy was very inspirational," he said. "It was just a different sort of time."
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Election 2004 section
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