Early voting breaking records in Ohio

Staff Report

COLUMBUS – As of Tuesday, 2.2 million Ohioans have cast their ballot for the 2020 general election. After all the votes were counted in 2016, 1.9 million Ohioans voted early in-person or by mail. Two and a half times the number of Ohioans are voting early in-person compared to the same time in 2016, according to information from the Ohio Secretary of State’s office.

Additional analysis of the data indicates that absentee ballots are being returned at a rate that drastically outpaces that of 2016. As of Tuesday, 1,432,126 absentee ballots had been returned to county boards of elections. In 2016, that number was essentially half that with just 766,017 absentee ballots returned.

The doubling of the number of returned absentee ballots relative to 2016 is a very strong indicator that election mail is moving quickly and Ohioans are easily able to cast their ballots, the Secretary of State press release said.

Absentee ballot requests increased by 430,458 to a total of 3,173,586 requests received by county boards of elections statewide. The total absentee ballots requested includes 25,653 requests from military and overseas voters. At the same time during the 2016 election, 1,594,220 absentee ballots had been requested. 840,644 outstanding absentee ballots have not yet been returned to their county board of elections.

So far this year, 743,130 Ohioans have voted early in-person. For comparison, at the same point in 2016, 288,865 voters had visited their early vote center to cast their ballot. In-person voting continues every day through election day, including the weekend.

“Each week it’s a new record – and that’s because enthusiastic voters are taking advantage of Ohio’s convenient voting opportunities which are some of the best in the nation,” said Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose. “With seven days to go, if you’re one of the 841,000 voters who haven’t returned your ballot yet, the time is now to mail it in. That’s the surefire way to ensure your vote will be a part of the results the nation sees on election night.”

Absentee ballots received by the county board of elections by the close of polls on Nov. 3 will be included in the unofficial vote totals released on election night. Outstanding ballots that are postmarked by Nov. 2 and received by the county board of elections within 10 days after the election will be included in the final official results that are released in late November.

Every properly cast ballot will be counted, said the release. Boards of Elections must contact and can help voters correct any issues with their respective ballot up until the seventh day after the election. The Ohio Secretary of State must certify the election by Nov. 28.


Staff Report