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ELECTION BLOG: Look back at Ohio's 2021 general election with real-time updates

Here are time-stamped updates as election day evolved in Northeast Ohio.

CLEVELAND — After weeks of early voting, absentee ballots, political ads and a closely watched battle for Cleveland mayor, Ohio's general election finally arrived. Voters also selected a new representative for Ohio's 11th Congressional District and passed a controversial police reform issue in Cleveland.

ELECTION RESULTS: See the outcome of every race and issue

Scroll through our live blog below for real-time updates from election day throughout Northeast Ohio. Be sure to refresh this page often for the most recent information, which will appear at the top of the timeline.

Wednesday, November 3

1:55 a.m. As we close out our live blog for Election 2021, we have a special announcement: Cleveland's mayor-elect, Justin Bibb, is scheduled to appear on GO! at 6:45 a.m. You can read more about his victory over Kevin Kelley here.

1:35 a.m. During his victory speech, Justin Bibb started to outline some of his priorities as Cleveland's next mayor. "Tonight we will celebrate. And tomorrow, we're going to roll up our sleeves and do the hard work of moving our city forward in a better direction," Bibb told his supporters. "Not one mayor can solve these problems in isolation. It's going to take a people-powered movement to change our city. When I take that oath in January, I'm not taking that oath by myself. We the people are taking that oath together."

1:00 a.m. We have a rundown of results of several key school board races and school levies from across Northeast Ohio. Click here for more.

12:45 a.m. We've compiled a list of results from all of the Cleveland City Council races. Of note, with current City Council President Kevin Kelley running for mayor this year, his seat in Ward 13 was up for grabs. Ken Johnson's Ward 4 spot was also open after the longtime councilman was sentenced to six years in prison on federal corruption charges

12:30 a.m. Here's a look at some of the other mayoral results of note across Northeast Ohio:

In Cleveland Heights, Kahlil Seren defeated Barbara Danforth to become the first mayor in the history of the city. Previously, Cleveland Heights utlized a city manager.

Councilman Justin Berns defeated incumbent Martin Horwitz to become the new mayor of Beachwood.

And residents in North Olmsted elected Nicole Dailey Jones as the city's new mayor, unseating incumbent Kevin M. Kennedy, who was running for an unprecedented fourth term.

12:05 a.m. We can now report that Issue 24, the controversial charter amendment that would shift Cleveland police discipline and polices to a civilian-led board and commission, has passed. Cleveland Mayor-Elect Justin Bibb was a strong supporter of Issue 24 and will have the opportunity to appoint members to the board.

Tuesday, November 2

11:47 p.m. Nearly all of the scanners have been uploaded in the Cleveland mayoral race. Justin Bibb has tallied 35,599 votes to Kevin Kelley's 21,194.

11:35 p.m. Click here for a sample of reaction from social media on the election of Justin Bibb as Cleveland's next mayor. 

11:20 p.m. During his victory speech, Bibb made a point of thanking the more than 100 student workers who assisted his campaign. "Don't tell me young people can't roll up their sleeves and make change in this city," the 34-year-old Bibb told supporters in his victory speech

10:42 p.m. As Kelley makes his concession, 34-year-old Justin Bibb has moved up to the microphone to give his victory speech as Cleveland's mayor-elect at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church. You can watch his speech below.

10:34 p.m. Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley is addressing his supporters at The Harp on Detroit Avenue. Kelley is expected to concede the race for Cleveland mayor to Justin Bibb. You can watch his remarks in the player below.

10:06 p.m. 3News' Mark Naymik reports that Justin Bibb is expected inside his watch party at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church any minute now. Bibb continues to hold a substantial lead over Kevin Kelley in the race for Cleveland mayor.

3News' Lynna Lai and Mark Naymik join Stephanie Haney once again from campaign watch parties for Cleveland Mayor hopefuls Kevin Kelley and Justin Bibb, as Bibb's lead widens with 23 percent of precincts reporting.

9:45 p.m. 3News' Mark Naymik reports that Justin Bibb is not at his watch party at Olivet Inst. Baptist Church. Bibb is watching the results from his war room elsewhere. "Can't imagine he will wait much longer given the trend is in his favor," Naymik added. The margin of lead for Bibb is nearly 10,000 votes over Kevin Kelley.

9:40 p.m. Let's check on the latest results for Issue 24, the charter amendment that would shift Cleveland police discipline and polices to a civilian-led board and commission. So far, the "Yes" votes lead the "No" votes by a 61%-39% margin. (19,109 have voted yes thus far, 12,150 have voted no.) 

Meanwhile, Justin Bibb continues to lead Kevin Kelley by nearly 9,000 votes in the Cleveland mayoral race. 29% of scanners have been uploaded.

9:24 p.m. The numbers in the Cleveland mayoral race now show Justin Bibb leading Kevin Kelley by approximately 9,000 votes. His percentage lead is at a 67%-33% margin. Bibb has tallied 17,319 votes with 20% of scanners uploaded, while Kelley has 8,394 votes.

9:16 p.m. 3News Digital Anchor Stephanie Haney checks in with Mark Naymik at Justin Bibb's headquarters and Lynna Lai from Kevin Kelley's watch party in a special Election Night edition of 3News Now.

8:59 p.m. Issue 24, the charter amendment that would shift Cleveland police discipline and polices to a civilian-led board and commission, is on its way to being passed. So far, the "Yes" votes lead the "No" votes by a 64%-36% margin. (13,227 have voted yes thus far, 7,578 have voted no.) 

8:57 p.m. Justin Bibb continues to stretch out his lead over Kevin Kelley in the race for Cleveland mayor. Bibb now holds a 7,000 vote lead, having tallied 14,622 votes with 6% of scanners uploaded, while Kelley has 7,672.

8:47 p.m. Our Lynna Lai is at The Harp on Detroit Avenue, site of Kevin Kelley's watch party. Kelley is currently trailing Justin Bibb in the race for Cleveland mayor by 5,000 votes. "As a candidate, you always want voters to show up," Kelley told Lai. "We did what we could to drive out the turnout and the rest is up to the voters."

8:25 p.m. Shontel Brown is giving her victory speech after defeating Laverne Gore to become representative for Ohio's 11th Congressional District. 

8:05 p.m. Shontel Brown has been elected as the newest representative to Ohio's 11th Congressional District. The Associated Press called the victory for Brown over Laverne Gore just prior to 8 p.m. Brown will succeed Marcia Fudge, who vacated her seat to became Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Biden Administration.

8:03 p.m. Also, we are keeping an eye on Issue 24, the charter amendment that would shift Cleveland police discipline, polices to a civilian-led board and commission. So far, the "Yes" votes lead the "No" votes by a 61%-39% margin. (10,868 have voted yes thus far, 6,977 have voted no.)

7:45 p.m. We are starting to get early results from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. Justin Bibb is out to a 63%-37%% lead over Kevin Kelley in the Cleveland mayoral race. Bibb has 12,016 votes so far, to Kelley's 7,117.

7:30 p.m. The polls are now closed. You can track full election results across Northeast Ohio here.

6:15 p.m. Amani Abraham gives us a look at some notable school board races, which have gained more attention due to some hot-button issues like mask mandates, vaccines, and critical race theory.

5:50 p.m. Let's check in with our reporters Marisa Saenz and Will Ujek for some of their Election Day observations on Twitter.

You can check out Marisa's look at Issue 24 here:

5:17 p.m. We have just over two hours to go until the polls close. 3News' Mark Naymik and Lynna Lai take a look at how the two candidates for Cleveland mayor, Justin Bibb and Kevin Kelley, are spending their Election Day.

4:33 p.m. According to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, so far there has been close to a 21% voter turnout with three hours until the polls close. The BOE says there are 877,661 eligible voters in the county and 182,415 ballots have been cast so far. 

  • 106,105 votes were cast on Election Day
  • 76,310 votes came in via absentee

In Cleveland, 18% of eligible voters have turned out so far. Ward 17 on the city's west side has seen nearly a 34% turnout.

4:22 p.m. Northeast Ohioans have been making their way to the polls throughout this Election Day. Here is a look at our photo gallery.

4:06 p.m. 3News' Marisa Saenz joins Stephanie Haney for a look at Issue 24, which would put the final decision on Cleveland police policies and the discipline of officers in the hands of a civilian-led board and commission.

3:30 p.m. Just four hours remain before the polls close today.

3 p.m. 3News' Amani Abraham joins Stephanie Haney to discuss school issues in today's election. They also discuss why school board races are heating up.

2 p.m. 3News' Lynna Lai joins Stephanie Haney to discuss City Council President Kevin Kelley's campaign for Cleveland mayor. It's part of a special election day series of 3News Now.

1:45 p.m. Check out these pictures from 3News viewers as they share their "I voted" sticker. Send us your pics HERE.

1 p.m. 3News' Stephanie Haney and Mark Naymik discuss Justin Bibb's campaign for Cleveland mayor.

11:52 a.m. Did you vote today? We want to see your "I voted" sticker. Send a photo to us and we might use it on TV or online.

11:30 a.m. You have just eight hours left to vote in today's election.

9:40 a.m. Cleveland mayoral candidate Kevin Kelley posts his first tweet of the day.

"Thank you all of your support and getting out to vote," he wrote.

8:15 a.m. Here's what Cleveland mayoral candidate Justin Bibb had to say about his vision for the city when we caught up with him at the polls this morning.

“We cannot afford more of the same," he said. "Our campaign is focused on bold, new visionary leadership and that’s why I’m the best leader to lead this city coming out of this pandemic.”

7:59 a.m. Cleveland voters, you may be wondering what Issue 24 means for you. 3News' Mark Naymik breaks down everything you need to know before making your choice on Issue 24 today.

6:41 a.m. 3News' Austin Love captures the moment Cleveland mayoral candidate Kevin Kelley arrives at a polling place to cast his ballot. 

"Cleveland is in a tough spot right now," Kelley told 3News. "It is critical that we have a mayor that’s ready to be mayor on day one. We’re in a surge of violent crime. We have a very fragile economy, but I’m positive our best days are ahead of us – but we have to get this right.”

Kelley is facing off against Justin Bibb in the mayoral race.

6:32 a.m. Secretary of State Frank LaRose tells Ohioans it's time to vote.

6:31 a.m. Cleveland mayoral candidate Justin Bibb posts his first tweet of the day. "Let's give our city a chance at a fresh start," he tweeted while asking for voter support.

6:30 a.m. The time has come! The polls are now open until 7:30 p.m. statewide.

Vote! Vote! Vote! The polls are now open! Here's everything you need to know about today's election from finding your...

Posted by WKYC Channel 3 - Cleveland on Tuesday, November 2, 2021

6 a.m. Calling all early risers! We're just 30 minutes away from the polls opening in Ohio.

5:30 a.m. It's almost time! Polls open in one hour.

5 a.m. We break down some of the biggest races in today's election:

4:30 a.m. The polls will open in just two hours!

3:30 a.m. Check the clock! We only have three hours left until polls start welcoming voters throughout the state.

3 a.m. Don't forget to share your "I Voted" sticker with us! You can send us a picture by using #3Election on Facebook or Twitter. You can also text us your pictures at 216-344-3300, just be sure to tell us your name and we just might use your photo on TV or right here on WKYC.com.

RELATED: Leading the Land: Cleveland mayoral candidates chasing votes in final hours before election

12 a.m. Election day is finally here! Polls will be open throughout Ohio for in-person voting from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. If you were hoping to mail your absentee ballot, that deadline has since passed, but you can still deliver it to the Board of Elections up until the polls close at 7:30 p.m.

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Last night, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said early voting numbers for this election have outpaced 2019 by nearly 18 percent.

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