Absentee ballot requests are flooding into boards of elections. Secretary of State Frank LaRose reports 1.4 million applications have been received so far, well more than the 1.2 million ballot requests received in all of 2016. And early voting doesn’t start till October 6.
President Trump has repeated his concerns about mail-in voting, which Ohio has allowed as part of its no-fault early absentee voting for 14 years. The message not to vote by mail may be getting through to his supporters. But Democrats are requesting ballots in huge numbers.
The state’s Republican chief elections officer and Ohio Democrats continue to battle over installing additional drop boxes where absentee voters could deposit their ballots if they’re concerned about the security and speed of mailing them in this fall.
A voting rights organization says there are potentially a lot fewer voters who will cast ballots this year compared to the presidential primary four years ago. The group looked at totals so far for the March 17 primary that has been extended to April 28.
More Ohioans have requested early absentee ballots for this midterm election than the last one in 2014. But Ohio is behind other states that are seeing record early turnout levels. And there’s a lot of speculation about whether that shows a “red tide” is building again in Ohio, or whether the state will be part of the nationally-predicted “blue wave”.
Recentpolls have shown the race for Ohio governor is very close. And that means the results could come down to provisional ballots – those cast by people who didn’t have proper ID, for instance – and to absentee ballots that hadn’t arrived at boards of elections by Tuesday. And that means Tuesday night’s total might not be the final outcome.
Early voting is now underway in Ohio, which has seen strong Republican wins in the last two midterm election cycles. But many are wondering about the impact of an increase in registered voters in a midterm year that looks good nationwide for Democrats.
More than 260,000 Ohioans voted early by mail or in person - before primary election day. There are nearly 8 million registered voters in Ohio. And historically, turnout for primaries in Ohio is just under 30 percent.
Nearly 5.5 million Ohioans cast ballots in the November presidential election, making the turnout in 2016 slightly higher than it was four years ago. And there are other highlights in the election results just made official by the Secretary of State.
Many County Board of Elections officials say the early in-person voter turnout in this year’s election has been breaking records. The reporters of the Statehouse News Bureau talked to voters in two counties in Central Ohio - one run by Republicans and one dominated by Democrats.
Early voting numbers are coming in from the last few weeks, and from the first weekend of early in person voting. And the numbers could prove to be problematic for Democrats, who found success with early voting in the last presidential election.
The US Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from advocates for the homeless and the Ohio Democratic Party to ensure that more absentee and provisional ballots are counted. That settles the final lawsuit of the 2016 election over Ohio’s election laws – for now.