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.
Polls show the presidential race is close in Ohio – a key swing state that voted for President Obama in the last two elections. This weekend was the first of two weekend of early in person voting, and it had both major political parties working to turn out their voters.
A decision throwing out the week where Ohioans could register to vote and cast ballots at the same time is being appealed by Democrats to the US Supreme Court. But the state is going ahead with its plans to reach out to voters.