2018 early voting numbers show 37 percent uptick


By Josh Ellerbrock - [email protected]



Voters fill out their ballots at the Bradfield Center in Lima Tuesday afternoon. Polling officials at the Bradfield Center said there was a steady pace of voters throughout the day. A few voters experienced minor problems such as incorrectly filling out their ballots. 
 GAVIN JACKSON/The Lima News

Voters fill out their ballots at the Bradfield Center in Lima Tuesday afternoon. Polling officials at the Bradfield Center said there was a steady pace of voters throughout the day. A few voters experienced minor problems such as incorrectly filling out their ballots. GAVIN JACKSON/The Lima News


LIMA — Comparing 2018 to the last midterm election, more people are taking advantage of absentee and early voting to get their votes in before Election Day Tuesday.

Numbers released 11 days before the election in 2014 show that 881,000 voters had requested absentee ballots in Ohio. This year, that number has jumped to 1,211,557 ballots requested as of Friday — an increase of 37 percent.

In Allen County, 8,240 ballots have been requested as of press time. That’s a roughly 25 percent jump from 2014’s total requested absentee ballots — 6,284 ballots.

Allen County Board of Elections Director Kathy Meyer said the increase is most likely due to three variables: an increased public confidence in absentee ballots, the state elections and the “contention of the parties at the federal level.”

“We’ve had to order more blank ballots. We’ve had to order more envelopes. It’s been kinda crazy,” Meyer said.

Because of the higher absentee voting, Meyer said she is expecting higher turnout. The last time a midterm election was held during a first-term president back in 2010, turnout was close to 50 percent. This year, she said she is hoping for 65 percent.

“We’ve planned for higher. We had a feeling it would be a little bit better because of the contention.” Meyer said.

Out of Ohio’s roughly 11.5 million residents, 8 million are registered to vote.

For those who wish to cast an absentee ballot, state law requires absentee requests be in the mail before Saturday. In order to avoid potential problems, however, the Allen County Board of Elections is asking that requests be submitted in person as the office cannot guarantee the mail will deliver the ballot in time.

Voters who need to send in their absentee ballot after reception must have it post marked to be received by the board of elections by Monday.

To drop off absentee ballots, the board of elections office will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to accept absentee ballots.

Absentee ballots can also be brought to the board of elections Lima office, 204 N. Main St., by the end of election day. Polling locations, however, will not accept them.

On Election Day Tuesday, polling locations will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Voters fill out their ballots at the Bradfield Center in Lima Tuesday afternoon. Polling officials at the Bradfield Center said there was a steady pace of voters throughout the day. A few voters experienced minor problems such as incorrectly filling out their ballots. GAVIN JACKSON/The Lima News
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2018/10/web1_Voting1GJ.jpgVoters fill out their ballots at the Bradfield Center in Lima Tuesday afternoon. Polling officials at the Bradfield Center said there was a steady pace of voters throughout the day. A few voters experienced minor problems such as incorrectly filling out their ballots. GAVIN JACKSON/The Lima News

By Josh Ellerbrock

[email protected]

Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.

Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.

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