The Ohio Secretary of State’s office says more than 1.3 million people voted ahead of Tuesday’s election, far outpacing the number of votes cast early statewide four years ago.
Officials say that through Monday, nearly 885,000 absentee ballots had been received by mail statewide and that 430,000 people voted early in person. That compares with around 719,000 people mailing in ballots in 2014 and 146,000 people voting early in person, for a total of about 865,000.
Just over 1 million votes were cast early in 2010.
The total number of votes cast statewide in 2014 was 3.1 million compared with nearly 4 million in 2010.
Around 8 million Ohioans are registered to vote.
A few problems were reported at polling places in at least two Ohio counties, where elections officials say the issues have been resolved.
Lucas County’s Board of Elections in Toledo says at least three sites had technical problems Tuesday morning involving setup of electronic poll books. Board Director LaVera Scott says some callers reported being asked to wait instead of receiving backup paper ballots. She says the issues were resolved.
Some Hamilton County voters encountered problems in downtown Cincinnati and other sites when voting machines appeared to reject some ballots not completely filled out. Board of Elections Director Sherry Poland says a new change alerts voters if some races are left blank. They must press the “cast ballot” button to finish voting. Workers were assigned at all locations to help with that.
State election officials said voting appeared to go smoothly at polls in Ohio early on Election Day.
A spokesman for Ohio’s Secretary of State’s Office said no major problems were reported in the first few hours of voting Tuesday. Spokesman Sam Rossi said the state had no turnout predictions yet.
Polls opened at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday and will close at 7:30 p.m.
State election officials say more than 1.4 million absentee ballots had been requested and more than 1.3 million ballots had been cast by mail and in person at the close of in-person absentee voting Monday. At that same point during 2014 absentee voting, nearly one million absentee ballots had been requested and more than 813,000 were cast.
Democrats are trying to turn a recent Republican tide in Ohio’s statewide races.
Democrats in Ohio are trying to turn a recent Republican tide in statewide races, relying on a ticket led by a familiar U.S. senator and a competitive governor candidate.
Sherrod Brown, first elected to Ohio office in 1974, seeks his third Senate term against fourth-term U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci (ruh-NAY’-see). Richard Cordray, President Barack Obama’s appointee as federal consumer protection chief, is in a tight governor’s race with Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine. It’s a rematch of the 2010 election when DeWine narrowly ousted Cordray to become attorney general.
Republicans have dominated recent statewide elections, capped by Republican Donald Trump’s decisive 8-point victory for president over Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Ohioans are choosing four other statewide officeholders, two Supreme Court justices and deciding a statewide drug sentencing ballot issue.