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Ohio Secretary of State: Early voting for November election up nearly 18% from 2019

"Election Day is here and once again Ohio is ready."

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The stage is set for Ohioans to go to the polls on Tuesday for Election Day. However, according to Secretary of State Frank LaRose, many voters have already taken the opportunity to cast their ballot in advance. 

LaRose reports that 377,399 Ohio voters have cast their absentee ballot or voted early statewide. Of those, 172,886 cast their ballot early in-person. The data includes all ballots received and processed through 2:00pm on Monday afternoon. 

RELATED: VOTER GUIDE | Everything to know about Ohio's 2021 general election and how to find your polling place

Total absentee and early in-person ballots cast are 17.8% (57,100) more than at the same point in November 2019. For perspective, there was not a Cleveland mayoral election or a special Congressional election in 2019 like there is this year. However, 2019 featured the Akron and Elyria mayoral elections, as well as several key Cuyahoga County issues. There were also mulitple school levy issues across Northeast Ohio.

“Ohioans trust their elections because we make it easy to vote and hard to cheat,” said LaRose in a statement. “There is no such thing as an ‘off-year’ election and voters have been proving that by coming out and making their voices heard in this important election over the past four weeks. Election Day is here and once again Ohio is ready.”

Outstanding absentee ballots were required to be postmarked by Monday, November 1st, or delivered to the voter’s respective county board of elections by 7:30pm on November 2nd. All absentee ballots received by the county board of elections by the close of polls on November 2nd will be included in the unofficial vote totals released on election night. Outstanding ballots that are postmarked by November 1st and received by the county board of elections within 10 days after the election will be included in the final official results that are released upon the conclusion of the official canvass. 

LaRose says every properly cast ballot will be counted. He adds that Ohio voters enjoy more hours for early in-person voting than voters in 43 other states. Ohio is just one of 20 states that offers voting on Saturdays and one of just five states that allow for voting on a Sunday.

Also, LaRose pointed out that according to a 2020 study done by the Brookings Institute, Ohio outperforms the 42 states that use a traditional absentee voting system. 

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