The continued impact of early voting in Ohio is sure to be debated and studied following the Nov. 6 General Election.
Of the state’s 8 million registered voters, more than 1 million people have requested absentee ballots as of last week and more than 330,000 have been cast by mail and in person.
Allen County is one of many Ohio counties experiencing its popularity and convenience.
“Since absentee voting began on Oct. 10, we’ve had 100 or more – sometimes almost 200 – votes come in each day,” said Kathy Meyer on Friday. She’s the director of the Allen County Board of Elections.
How does that compare with previous elections?
“It’s definitely more than we had in a similar election four years ago, and about the same as we had two years ago in what was a very competitive presidential election,” Meyer added.
It is just a matter of time before an election is held where the majority of votes cast are by absentee ballot. That means political strategists need to pack away the idea of an “Election Day,” and focus harder on “Election Month.”
Already we’re seeing how early voting could influence the results of an election.
Should State Issue 1 pass by a close margin, it could be argued it was because the backers of Issue 1 were quick to get information in the public’s hands. Their plan to fight the opioid crisis and prison overcrowding sounded promising. The opposition was slow in pointing out potential pitfalls. When that message gained traction, hundreds of thousand votes had already been turned in.
Simply put, early voting is a game changer.