With 2.2M Ballots Cast, Ohio Passes 2016 Early Voting Total

COLUMBUS, Ohio – With a week to go until Election Day, more Ohioans already have cast absentee ballots than in 2016, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose reported Tuesday. 

According to a news release from the secretary of state’s office, 2.2 million Ohioans have cast their ballots early, surpassing 2016’s total of 1.9 million. 

The office reports that absentee ballots are being returned at a rate that drastically outpaces that of 2016, with 1,432,126 absentee ballots already having been returned to county boards of elections, roughly double the 766,017 returned by this point in 2016. 

Additionally, absentee ballot requests increased by 430,458 over 2016’s levels 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. 

So far this year, 743,130 Ohioans have voted early in-person, compared with 288,865 by the same point in 2016.

As of Monday, the U.S. Elections Project reports 16,277 ballots have been returned in Columbiana County, 48,060 in Mahoning County and 23,369 in Trumbull County. 

“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,” LaRose said in a statement. “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.”

On Tuesday, the U.S. Postal Service recommended that early voters who had yet to send in their ballots do so by the end of that day to ensure they are postmarked and delivered by Election Day, Nov. 3. Now, the post office recommends either voting early in-person or dropping off absentee ballots at boards of elections rather than mailing it in.

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Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.