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New Study Shows Early Voting Options Added Since 2004 Haven't Increased Voter Participation

The State of Ohio, Ohio Public Television
Statehouse News Bureau
Mike Dawson, political strategist

A new report shows changes made to increase early voting opportunities in Ohio have not led to an increase in voter participation. 

On Election Day 2004, voters in some parts of Ohio stood in long lines and some left without voting. Since then, Ohio has allowed voting by mail or early in-person. But election statistics analyst Mike Dawson says those changes haven’t meant higher turnout. 

“In 2004, when we only had one day of voting and you had to have an excuse to vote absentee, we had more votes than we did in 2012 and 2016 where we had expansive early voting. In fact, the only time it has increased was in 2008 and it was less than one percent.”

Dawson says the 30% of people who vote early probably would have voted anyway on Election Day. 

Contact Jo Ingles at
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