Ohio Democrats are leading vote-by-mail ballots in election on abortion, marijuana
Photo by WEWS.
Democratic and nonpartisan voters in Ohio are winning the vote-by-mail fight in the November election on abortion and marijuana, an OCJ/WEWS analysis found.
Despite being an off-year, elections workers say early voting numbers are exceeding expectations.
“It’s very critical to us to vote early,” Cuyahoga County voter Linda Frey said.
This is especially true with such large issues on the ballot, which is why Frey cast her ballot ahead of time.
In this election, voters will decide on local issues and candidates, like city council members, and statewide Issue 1 and Issue 2. Issue 1 is the amendment to protect access to abortion and contraception, while Issue 2 would legalize recreational marijuana.
“Voting early avoids amount of crowding at the polling place,” she added.
She isn’t the only one.
Early voting data gives a look at not just how many people are voting — but who is voting.
Party affiliation is tracked when an Ohioan requests to vote by mail.
Statehouse reporter Morgan Trau reached out to a dozen counties with different political leanings across the state. She gathered raw data from county boards of elections and calculated the breakdown of how many Democrats, Republicans, and nonpartisan voters have applied for absentee as of Oct. 31. These numbers were then rounded for clarity.
This analysis comes after the first review into which counties were voting early.
For full disclosure, Ohio has more GOP-leaning counties with fewer people in them than the fewer Democratic-leaning counties that have larger population numbers.
Cuyahoga, Franklin (which has Columbus) and Hamilton (which has Cincinnati) were the determiners in the August election. Although they each vote Democratic, Cuyahoga and Franklin counties are the strongholds in the state.
Cuyahoga County Democrats requested 50,000 ballots, Republicans 20,000 and nonpartisan 30,000. Franklin Democrats requested more than 10,000, Republicans 8,000 and nonpartisan about 30,000. Hamilton Democrats requested about 13,000, Republicans 8,000 and nonpartisan 23,000.
Other urban counties, Summit (which has Akron), Montgomery (which has Dayton), Lucas (which has Toledo) and Mahoning (which has Youngstown) follow the same trend.
Summit Democrats requested 11,000, Republicans 7,000 and nonpartisan 18,000. Montgomery Democrats requested 7,000, Republicans 5,000 and nonpartisan 12,000. Lucas Democrats requested 9,000, Republicans 3,000 and nonpartisan 6,000. Mahoning Democrats requested 5,000, Republicans 2,500 and nonpartisan 5,000.
This is an increase from the already unexpectedly high August special election.
“We’re super excited when we see great turnout like this,” said Nicole Mickley with the Medina County Board of Elections.
Suburban and more rural counties are also showing up, she added.
Medina Democrats have requested 4,500 ballots, Republican 5,000 and nonpartisan 5,000. Geauga Democrats have requested 2,000, Republicans 3,500 and nonpartisan 2,500. Lake Democrats have requested 3,500, Republicans 3,200 and nonpartisan 3,200.
Portage Democrats have requested 2,500, Republicans 2,000 and nonpartisan 4,500. Ashtabula Democrats have requested 1,000, Republicans 1,200 and nonpartisan 2,000. Lorain Democrats have requested 7,000, Republicans 5,000 and nonpartisan 10,000. Delaware Democrats have requested 4,800, Republicans 4,700 and nonpartisan 6,000.
“We’re expecting great voter turnout for the rest of early voting and then on election day as well,” Mickley said.
Previous election data shows that Republican-leaning counties have significantly higher voter turnout on the day of the election rather than early voting.
More rural counties Holmes, Meigs and Warren have much fewer voters, but a significantly higher percentage of Republican requests.
Holmes Democrats have requested 263, Republicans 696 and nonpartisan 624. Meigs Democrats have requested 222, Republicans 533 and nonpartisan 234. Warren Democrats have requested 4,500, Republicans 6,300 and nonpartisan 5,500.
House Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) wants more people to vote early — and he is advocating against Issue 1 and 2.
“I think it’s great that the numbers are high and I think it’s encouraging,” Stephens said. “The more people that vote, the better off.”
But state Rep. Rich Brown (D-Canal Winchester) is excited that the Democratic strongholds are surpassing early voting expectations.
“Issue 1 and 2 are the primary reason why folks are out there,” Brown said. “Especially, in my view, Issue 1.”
Frey says no matter which way you vote, Frey believes earlier is easier.
“Make sure that our votes counted,” she said.
When do I vote?
Vote at your local board of elections on these days:
- Nov. 3: 7:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
- Nov. 4: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- Nov. 5: 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Citizens can no longer vote on Nov. 6, the Monday before the election.
Mailed absentee ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 6.
Vote at your polling location on Nov. 7. Polls open from 6:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
If not returned by mail, absentee ballots must be received by your board of elections by 7:30 p.m.
Find your polling place by clicking or tapping here.
What do I need to vote?
In order to cast a ballot, voters must have an unexpired Photo ID such as a passport or driver’s license. Previously, voters were able to use non-photo documentation such as bank statements, government checks or utility bills to register to vote.
CLICK HERE for more information on ID requirements.
Here is the list of acceptable types of valid ID:
- Ohio driver’s license
- State of Ohio ID card
- Interim ID form issued by the Ohio BMV
- A US passport
- A US passport card
- US military ID card
- Ohio National Guard ID card
- US Department of Veterans Affairs ID card
More information for voters
To check your voter registration status, find your polling place, view your sample ballot and more, head to the Ohio Secretary of State’s VoteOhio.gov website.
This article was originally published on News5Cleveland.com and is published in the Ohio Capital Journal under a content-sharing agreement. Unlike other OCJ articles, it is not available for free republication by other news outlets as it is owned by WEWS in Cleveland.
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