Big shout out to the Hamilton County Board of Elections who did manage to send my absentee ballot on time this year. [More on that in a sec]. So today I got to vote for a President for this first time in my life. Feels good.
In the 1996 election, I just missed the cut off age date (I was 17 then). In 2000, I was living in Guam and I made a mistake on my voter registration, so I was unable to vote. In 2004, the Elections Board in Ohio screwed up and I was improperly prevented from voting. I got a letter apologizing five months after the election, which was little consolation, but at least it showed I knew I had done everything on my side correctly. That was Ohio in 2004 with the then Sec of State Ken Blackwell and serious allegations of fraud in the state that decided the election.
But this year, everything has gone smoothly. (knock on wood, so far–it still has to be mailed, properly open/read, and validated).
If it is received prior to Election Day, then it will be counted after the polls close on Election Day. As of right now, Obama is polling strong in Ohio. And if he wins Ohio, the election is his. He could win without Ohio (with Iowa, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Colorado, Virginia), but with Ohio it’s a done deal. If he wins Ohio, he will have won Pennsylvania and Michigan (both bluer shades than my home state). He wins the election with 2/3 out of those under almost all circumstances. If he sweeps those rust belt states and does well out West, then we are headed into landslide 1980 Reagan-esque territory.