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Voters In Canton, Ohio, Turn Out For Their Presidential Candidate

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And of course there'll be time enough to look ahead. But now let's look to the voting. Today, in a major swing state, Ohio, republic - reporter M.L. Schultze of member station WKSU has been out at polling stations. We spoke to her earlier, and she joins us again now from Canton, about an hour south of Cleveland. Good morning.

M L SCHULTZE, BYLINE: Good morning. How are you?

MONTAGNE: Fine, thank you. And what are you seeing there? I'm guessing a steady stream of voters.

SCHULTZE: Yeah, well, this is the time of day when the voting usually dies down. It's the time when smart voters who don't want to wait in line show up. But there's been no lull all morning. Yeah, there was a bit of a rush when when the polls first opened, but it has been steady all day long, cars in and out and voters taking very seriously what they're doing.

MONTAGNE: Now, when we spoke earlier, you told us a lot of people seemed to be just kind of relieved to be getting this over with after a long, hard campaign and an often ugly campaign, as we well know. What else are you hearing now, later in the day?

SCHULTZE: Well, more of the same but also some underlying concern, all the way through, about the lasting impact of the tone of this election - not even talking about who wins, but what's the residual. I spoke with a high school teacher named Deirdre Kioshen (ph), who would not tell me how she voted because she says she teaches her students how to think, not what to think. But she said she is disturbed by the rhetoric, and it's not just the candidates.

DEIRDRE KIOSHEN: I think I'm more struck by that, that people are willing to give in to a lot of anger rather than trying to seek peaceful solutions.

SCHULTZE: She says she expects more of her students, and she certainly expected more of the American electorate.

MONTAGNE: So a lot of anxiety out there - but also, is there a lot of interest in this election, even where you are? Because this - your state is a swing state, Ohio.

SCHULTZE: Absolutely. There's already been 1.7 million votes cast in Ohio. And we have roughly 7.9 million voters. So a lot of folks showed up early. And as a matter of fact, we had one week less of early voting this year than we had four years ago, but we've had more people show up for the early voting. People are just taking it very, very seriously.

MONTAGNE: Is there anything that you can tell there in Ohio about early voters - I mean, other than that they're motivated?

SCHULTZE: They are. There is an indication in Stark County, which is one of those swing-county, bellwether counties, that more Republicans have turned out. But there also are a lot more registered Republicans because Ohio - of course, in the in the primary, we had our governor running against what was essentially a two-man race with Donald Trump then. So, you know, afterwards, we'll know what it means. For now, we don't have a clue.

MONTAGNE: M.L. Schultze of WKSU, talking to us from a polling station in Canton, Ohio. Thanks very much.

SCHULTZE: Good talking to you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.