LIMA — Votes are still being counted in Ohio, but a detailed look into the early local results can deliver some insights into what exactly happened when Allen County went to the polls in 2020.
The biggest election news of the night — outside of the actual results — was turnout. Up until 2020, voter turnout had been steadily declining in Allen County since 2008.
During the record-breaking election that year, 50,930 Allen County voters cast their ballots at the polls. By 2016, that number had receded to 46,735.
This year, it’s expected that the count will exceed 2016’s totals as postmarked mail-in ballots are counted over the next 10 days. As of Wednesday, the total number of ballots stood at 46,710. It remains to be seen if the final mail-ins will catch 2008 vote totals, though.
It’s also worth nothing that while voter turnout is expected to be higher than normal for this particular election, there’s plenty of room for improvement. Voter registration rolls can be expanded locally by more than 10,000 people.
Turnout among the parties
While higher turnout was expected before the polls opened, the numbers show that the two parties had both benefited from more voters, but they did so by different margins.
Compared to 2016, President Donald Trump performed better in the county by scraping together 1,500 more votes overall than he did four years ago.
Meanwhile on the Democratic side, Joe Biden only earned roughly 300 more votes than Hilary Clinton as of Wednesday. That number may rise as more votes are counted since Democratic voters tend to vote by mail in higher numbers, but the early data suggests that Biden’s performance locally didn’t differ in any major way from Clinton’s, especially when looking at Barack Obama’s 2008 voter totals.
Back then, Biden was able to gain 6,000 more votes in the county as a vice presidential candidate than he did as the head of the ticket.
The votes cast for single-candidate races rarely differ by much, but there’s some discrepancies in the data worth exploring.
When comparing single-race candidates in the county, Allen County Sheriff Matt Treglia ended up winning the most, or about 38,000 votes, while Speaker of the House Bob Cupp came in second with 37,641 votes.
On the low end, Allen County Commissioner Cory Noonan won his single-candidate race with just over 35,000 votes. Todd Kohlreiser, probate judge, took his seat with 35,026 votes.
Since many vote down the ticket when it comes to these races, the discrepancies mean that a number of voters decided to be more particular. It’s hard to say exactly why that may be, but at least 3,000 voters ended up picking and choosing.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.