COLUMBUS, Ohio — As Ohio waits for the polls to officially open for its special Primary Election Day, we're getting one last look at some of the early turnout numbers.
Secretary of State Frank LaRose's office confirms more than 140,000 ballots have been cast ahead of Aug. 2, with about 76,000 of them being absentee or mail-in ballots. Additionally, more than 66,000 people have voted early in person at their local county boards of elections.
The primary will allow residents to select party nominees for November's Ohio General Assembly races as well as pick members of the respective Democratic and Republican state central committees. These candidates were supposed to be on the ballot last May, but were delayed due to court battles related to the new and controversial state legislature district maps.
"Thousands of Ohioans chose to utilize four weeks of early voting to make their voice heard this election, highlighting Ohio's strong balance of accessibility and security," LaRose said in a statement. "While tomorrow's election is certainly unusual, it is no less important. Every vote matters, and every election shapes the future of our great state."
More than 100,000 absentee ballots have been requested for this election, with just under 23,000 of them still yet to be submitted for counting. Of the ballots submitted so far, 57% of them have come from Democrats and 43% from Republicans, a common trend for early voting.
Officials have not specified how turnout in this year's special primary has compared to past "normal" years. However, LaRose did say after initial numbers came out last month that vote totals were "stronger than expected," given the circumstances.
Polls on Primary Day will be open from 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. The registration deadline for the election has passed, but voters can still register in time to vote in the general election on Nov. 8.