The in-person absentee voting period ended yesterday, with nearly 70-thousand people voting early in Franklin County.
The total was well above the early voting numbers posted in the 2008 presidential election, despite long lines over the weekend. State officials say nearly 1-point-8 million Ohioans voted early this year. Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles reports.
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted reports there’s a slight increase of two point four percent in the number of Ohioans who early voted this year as compared with 2008. One point three million mail in ballots were sent out this year and 87% of those have been returned prior to Election day. 592,000 Ohioans voted in person at their county’s early voting centers. The numbers show early vote totals were down slightly in Cuyahoga, Hamilton and Franklin Counties from 2008 but up significantly in some other areas. For example, Wayne county was up 134% and Richland was up 127%. Franklin county’s early vote total was down more than 12 percent, Cuyahoga was down more than seven percent and Hamilton was down almost five percent. One important factor to note here…..the conditions for early voting have changed since 2008. For the first time, all Ohio voters were sent applications for mail in ballots and many advantage of that option. Also, there was only one weekend of early voting in 2012 and the hours during that weekend were limited. 97 thousand Ohioans voted in person at early voting centers over this past Saturday, Sunday and Monday. And in many larger areas of the state, long lines were reported over the weekend at those early voting polling places. It now comes down to ground game. Both Republicans and Democrats are trying to turn their voters out to the polls today in what is expected to be a close race in Ohio.