CLEVELAND – Volunteers supporting Barack Obama picked up hundreds of people at homeless shelters, soup kitchens and drug-rehab centers and drove them to a polling place yesterday on the last day that Ohioans could register and vote on the same day, almost no questions asked.
The huge effort by a pro-Obama group, Vote Today Ohio, takes advantage of a quirk in the state's elections laws that allows people to register and cast ballots at the same time without having to prove residency.
Republicans have argued that the window could lead to widespread voter fraud because officials wouldn't have an opportunity to verify registration information before ballots were cast.
Among the volunteers were Yori Stadlin and Vivian Lehrer of the Upper West Side, who got married last week and decided to spend their honeymoon shepherding voters to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.
Early today, Stadlin's van picked up William Woods, 59, at the soup kitchen of the Bishop Cosgrove Center.
"I never voted before," Woods said, because of a felony conviction that previously barred him from the polls. "Without this service, I would have had no way to get here."