COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The final day of early voting wrapped up with crowds in Franklin County Monday, with dozens of voters waiting for the doors to be unlocked at 8 a.m. and the line fluctuated throughout the day.

The first person in line, Avis Jenkins, said she arrived a half-hour before the doors opened.

“I came yesterday but the line was very long,” she said. “So I decided to get up early this morning to come.”

Jenkins typically votes on Election Day, but she voted by mail in 2020 because of health concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic and she opted to vote early this year because of convenience.

“We still have to take precautions and wear a mask,” Jenkins said. “But I’m vaccinated, so I feel like that gives me a better chance of being protected, so I don’t mind being out.”

Social distancing markers are still placed outside of the Franklin County Board of Elections and voters are required to wear masks inside the building.

“I felt really comfortable inside,” said voter Kelly Beutler. “And I appreciate that they’re still taking it really seriously.”

The most noticeable difference between the 2020 General Election and 2021 was the crowd size. During the previous year’s early voting, lines wrapped around the building and wait times sometimes lasted more than an hour. Some voters commented on the efficiency of early voting this year.

“I’m very impressed,” said voter Elizabeth Patnoe. “They said it was a lot busier than they anticipated and they’re in the smaller room, but it’s just very, very smooth.”

Midterm elections typically report a smaller voter turnout than years with presidential or gubernatorial candidates on the ballot. In 2017, the most recent comparable year to the current election, about 23 percent of registered voters cast ballots in Franklin County.

“I would just encourage other people not to stay away in a midterm because they’re just as important as a presidential election. It’s all of your local elected officials,” Jenkins said.

Zach Beutler added, “I think voting in any election is important because it’s not just something on a federal level you have to worry about. The local level is the level that’s going to affect you the most.”

By the close of polls on Sunday evening, the Board of Elections reported more than 31,000 people voted either early in-person or absentee by mail. Nearly half of the votes have come within the past week.

The Early Vote Center closed at 2 p.m. Monday for the last day of early voting. Absentee by-mail ballots must be postmarked by Monday, Nov. 1 to be received and counted 10 days after the election. They can also be dropped off in-person until 7:30 Tuesday night at a ballot box at the Board of Elections.

Election Day polls open statewide at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday and close at 7:30 p.m. You can find your polling location by clicking on this link.