Early voting begins in Aug. 3 special election for 11th District Congressional seat

early voting begins
Posted at 5:41 PM, Jul 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-07 18:41:51-04

CLEVELAND — The first votes have been cast in the special primary election to fill the Congressional seat of Marcia Fudge as early voting began Wednesday for the Aug. 3 election.

There are 13 names on the Democratic ballot, one of them belonging to Nina Turner, who rallied with supporters before casting her own vote for herself at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

"It felt really good,” Turner said. “I have not been on the ballot in a while so that felt good to vote for myself, certainly not the first time I voted for myself but really happy to be on this journey of service."

Another name on the Democratic ballot is that of James Jerome Bell, who also showed up to vote for himself.

"I just believe that now is the time to really rise and I think that now is my time,” he said.

The little polling done shows this to be a contest primarily between Turner and Cuyahoga County Councilwoman and Democratic Party Chair Shontel Brown.

Brown supporter and former Bedford Mayor Dan Pocek believes, in a low turnout primary like this, it will come down to ground game.

"It's summer, it's the Aug. 3rd Primary and I believe those who get the vote out will win I mean it's as simple as that,” said Pocek.

And here's the thing: An amazing three out of four voters in the district are listed as non-partisan—but that doesn't mean they can't vote in this special primary should they choose as Ohio makes it fairly simple, said Secretary of State Frank LaRose.

"If you feel strongly about one of the Democratic candidates or one of the Republican candidates you can vote in that primary and then henceforth under law you will be a Republican or a Democrat at least until the next primary when of course you could change your mind if you wanted to,” LaRose said.

Whoever you support Noel, who was one of the first in line, said he just hopes you show it.

"You mentioned it might be a low turnout election. I hope not, I hope that people take it seriously and they realize this is a historic seat and they put their time into figure out what candidate they want and they get in here and they vote,” he said.

Hours for in person early voting are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays through July 23. Then they expand from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. July 26-30 with weekend hours added on the final weekend before the Aug. 3 election.