Early voting busy with Election Day a week away

More votes cast than in comparable 2018 election; early voting hours expand to 7 p.m. this week

Ohio voters who want to vote early have less than a week left to do so before Election Day, which is set for Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Elections are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Because the first Monday isn’t until Nov. 7 this year, Election Day won’t take place until next week.

Early voting hours are expanded beyond 5 p.m. this week — county boards of election will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day Monday through Friday. The final three days of early voting are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, and then 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday Nov. 7, the day before Election Day.

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“We continue to publicize early voting is continuing this week, this weekend, and through 2 p.m. on Monday,” Montgomery County Board of Elections Deputy Director Sarah Greathouse said.

As of Monday, Montgomery County board of elections records show about 40,000 people had requested absentee ballots and another 8,700 had voted early at the elections office. Warren County had handled about 23,500 absentee ballot requests so far for the general election and had also served about 8,700 in-person early voters.

Early voting participation is high this year, Greathouse said, and the week to come usually sees high participation for early voting leading up to Election Day.

The Secretary of State’s Office last week said about 20,000 more people throughout Ohio had either voted early or requested an absentee ballot this year compared to the same time during the last gubernatorial election in 2018.

The office said almost 136,000 people had voted in person early statewide, which is about 42,000 more than at the same time in 2018. Updated statewide early voting numbers were expected to be released Tuesday.

Voting absentee allows people plenty of time to fill out a ballot, research candidates while they vote and can result in a person receiving less political mail, as some candidates will stop sending material to people who already voted, Secretary of State Frank LaRose previously said.

In this election, Ohio voters have the chance to pick state leaders including the governor, secretary of state, Supreme Court justices and state legislators. They will also get a chance to vote on a new U.S. senator and representatives in Congress.

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Voters also will have an opportunity to cast a ballot in countywide races for commissioner, auditor and judgeships, as well as local tax levies for cities, townships and schools.

On the actual Election Day Nov. 8, polling locations will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

“We encourage every voter to visit VoteOhio.gov to look up their polling location and sample ballot. It is critical that voters be active in knowing when and where to vote,” Greathouse said.

The local board of elections also sent out postcards last week informing voters of their polling locations and their districts. Greathouse said many have changed due to redistricting.

Montgomery County and Warren County election officials reported Monday that they have enough poll workers to operate the polls Nov. 8. Greathouse said the Montgomery County Board of Elections has backup workers in case of last-minute dropouts but encourages anyone interested in being a poll worker to contact the board, as it is always taking applications.

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