COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–Election Day 2021 officially kicks at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Thousands of Ohioans showed up early to cast ballots this season. According to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, 377,399 voters cast absentee ballots or voted early this election cycle, up 17.8 percent over the same point in November 2019. Of those ballots already cast, 172,886 were done in person.
Voters drove up to the ballot drop box all day Monday to submit their early voting ballots. Early voting ended Monday at 2 p.m., and absentee ballots had to be postmarked Monday if you’re mailing it.
“It’s a long line. Yeah. It is a long line,” said Delbert Scott who voted early. “I didn’t expect it to be this long, but I’m gonna stand here.”
Voters lined up outside the Franklin County Board of Elections on Monday afternoon. The wait was about 10 minutes, and the people dropping off their ballots said it was a small inconvenience.
“Your school board, Council people, those are people making decisions about local issues,” said Danish Newby who also voted early.
More than 32,500 voters cast a ballot early in Franklin County, just shy of four percent of registered voters. While the last-minute early voting scene looked different in Delaware County, Board of Elections Director Karla Herron was thrilled with the turnout.
“I would say it’s trending a little higher than this type of odd-year election cycle,” said Herron. “I think that 2020 really shed light on elections in general, and I think more and more people really realized how important it is to go out and vote.”
As of noon Monday, there were more than 6,400 Delaware County voters who had cast a ballot, either by mail or in person. That’s just over four percent of people registered to vote there.
“If you want your ideas to have any force in government, you need to participate,” said early voter Ted Evans.
The polls open at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday and close at 7:30 p.m.