COLUMBUS, Ohio — With the General Election less than 24 hours away, Ohio voters have shown up en masse for the early voting period.
So far, 3.4 million Ohio voters have cast their absentee ballot or voted early, with 243,023 absentee ballots still outstanding. Ohio had never previously surpassed 2 million total votes in the early voting period.
Ohio's early vote total has already grown up to 180 percent of the previous early vote record and is equivalent to 60 percent of the entire number of votes cast in the 2016 General Election.
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose took early action in maximizing participation in early and absentee voting amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as his office prioritized poll worker recruitment, voter registration, health protocols, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) distribution and combatting the spread of disinformation.
"Ohioans have refused to listen to the fear mongers who have spent months trying to convince them that it's hard to vote - they're proving it's easy with every record broken," said Secretary LaRose. "As ballots mailed on time continue to come in over the next ten days, Ohioans should rest assured that each legally cast ballot will be counted and their voice will be heard."
According to data from Secretary LaRose's office, absentee ballots have been returned at a rate that "drastically outpaces" the last General Election in 2016. To date, 2,071,699 absentee ballots have been received by the county boards of elections - nearly double that of 2016.
Ohio provides more early in-person voting hours than 43 other states. As of this afternoon, 1,339,764 voters have voted early in-person. That number is more than double the 2016 total at the same point with 661,549 voters visiting their early vote centers to cast their ballot.
Additionally, the number of absentee ballots requested increased by 612,241 to a total of 3,785,827 statewide. Of those, 26,488 were requests from military and overseas voters. The county board of elections still awaits 243,023 that must be postmarked by today, November 2, 2020 or delivered to the voter's respective county board of elections by 7:30 p.m. on November 3, 2020.