Early voters have minds made up on candidates

Most people early voting on Monday said recent revelations about the candidates haven't influenced their decisions

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – As voters waited in line to cast their early ballots on Monday, most said they’ve known how they’d be voting for a while now — managing to tune out all the last-minute revelations and accusations that have been feeding the 24-hour news cycle.

Sunday, the FBI again said no charges would be filed against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton after the agency reopened its investigation into her emails.

Voter Carrie Schwab said recent news about both Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump has not changed her mind about her vote.

“I already had my mind made up from the beginning,” she said. “Everybody slanders each other, you know.”

In addition to the next to the last day campaigning by the presidential candidates, FBI Director James Comey’s announcement Sunday seems to have gotten lost on many of the voters out Monday.

“Well, it’s hard to believe half the stuff they’re saying at the last minute like this,” said Larry Baltes. “Anything that gets people to change their mind, you don’t know if there’s much truth behind it or not.”

With both Clinton and Trump campaigning across the country, the accusations and claims continue to fly. Youngstown State University’s Political Science Chair Paul Sracic said he doesn’t see it making much of a difference.

“Something happens, you know, a Trump videotape, a Comey story, and it sort of spikes one candidate or the other. They get a brief bounce, but then it all sort of fades in peoples’ memories,” he said.

In the meantime, Sracic said the bitterness that has been dividing many Clinton and Trump voters could make it very hard for some to accept the ultimate outcome.

“Fortunately, I don’t think that’s a majority of the population, but you are gonna have a hardcore, I think, percentage that’s gonna have a very, very difficult time on Wednesday morning,” he said.

Sracic says while he’s not able to predict a winner, he suggests keeping an eye on four key swing states — Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida.

“If Hillary Clinton wins Florida, the election’s over, I think. If Donald Trump wins Florida, it’s not over, but it’s much more interesting,” he said.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said that nearly 1.8 million early ballots were cast in the state ahead of the presidential election.

For those planning to vote on Tuesday, polls open in Ohio at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. The polls will stay open longer as long as voters are in line by 7:30 p.m.

Polls in Pennsylvania are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

To find your polling location, visit the Ohio Secretary of State’s website for polling places in Ohio and www.votespa.com for Pennsylvania’s polling locations.