Valley Sees 2,100-Plus Ballots Cast on First Day of Early Voting

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Voters in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties cast more than 2,100 ballots on the first day of early voting in advance of the Nov. 3 general election, county election officials report. 

Trumbull County accounted for nearly half the early ballots cast locally Tuesday with 1,040 votes, said Stephanie Penrose, director of the Trumbull County Board of Elections.   

“It was higher turnout than I expected,” Penrose said. 

In Mahoning County, 762 early votes were cast Tuesday, said Tom McCabe, deputy director of the Mahoning County Board of Elections. Bryce Miner, deputy director of the Columbiana County Board of Elections, reported 313 early ballots cast.

Voters are required to wear a mask and walk through a temperature scanner, Miner said. Any voters not wearing a mask or showing an above-average temperature will be asked to cast their ballots curbside with a bipartisan team of officials. Should they decline to vote curbside or wear a mask, they will be permitted to vote in a socially distant section of the office to keep voters and staff safe.   

“We had a very successful first day of early voting in our office with social distancing and mask requirements in place. I applaud the voters of Columbiana County for their understanding and commitment to the health and safety of their fellow voters and our staff alike during the elections process,” he said.

In addition to early voting in person, Ohio voters also are requesting absentee ballots by mail. Ohioans submitted a record 2,154,235 absentee ballot applications to county boards of elections statewide, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said Tuesday. 

The total, which is current as of Oct. 2, includes 21,570 requests from, according to a news release from LaRose’s office. Over the past week, 158,839 new absentee ballot requests were submitted by Ohio voters.

The absentee ballot request total is nearly double the 1,091,188 applications received at the same point during the 2016 election cycle.  Absentee ballots for military and overseas voters began to be mailed Sept. 18. The rest were being mailed starting Tuesday. 

“A record number of Ohioans have requested an absentee ballot and soon they will see that ballot arrive in their mailbox,” LaRose said. “The clock has started, so don’t wait to return it. Make sure your voice is heard.”

Trumbull County had 39,399 requests for mail-out ballots as of Monday, Penrose said. Mahoning County received 48,089 requests for mailed absentee ballots, McCabe said.  

The Columbiana County Board of elections received 12,277 valid absentee ballot applications, plus another 2,545 duplicate or invalid applications. 

“The vast majority of those 2,500 are duplicate applications from voters who already submitted a valid application,” Miner said. The board contacted voters who submitted invalid applications to inform what they needed to do to correct their errors. 

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.