Storm Affects Ohio Early Voting

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File photo of voting booths. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

File photo of voting booths. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The damaging superstorm has been jeopardizing labor unions’ get-out-the-vote efforts in blue-collar areas of northeastern Ohio but contributing to record early-voting turnout in other parts of the battleground state.

Democratic state Rep. Bob Hagan of Youngstown said Teamsters president James Hoffa advised pressing forward despite the weather. Hagan said unions have out-of-state helpers that are on a demanding timeline heading into Election Day.

Hagan said any storm-related decline in turnout could hurt President Barack Obama’s chance of winning Ohio, where the faceoff with Republican challenger Mitt Romney is neck-and-neck.

In Columbus, a record 4,700 early votes were cast Monday.

Seventy-two-year-old Bettye “Mama” Neal said she was braving wind and snow Tuesday with a foot cast and walker to cast her vote for Obama before the weather worsened.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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