The biggest turnout was 85 voters Monday while Wednesday had the lowest numbers at 48, according to statistics from the Huron County Board of Elections. Sixty-six voters turned out the first day of early early voting, Oct. 10.
Director Sharon Locke said early voting numbers vary widely, noting that Tuesday was “a slow day,” but two days later it was steady.
Locke became the director in 2008 — “a big year” in her words — for early voting due to Barack Obama’s campaign emphasizing the issue throughout his presidential bid.
“That was the first big (push) after it was a no-fault,” she said, referring to absentee voting. “Every year has grown.”
Ohio started early voting in 2006.
Board of elections member Tom Gerrity has been keeping up with the turnout at the polls.
“I talked to Sharon (on Tuesday),” he said. “She said they’ve been really busy.”
Gerrity, the previous board of elections director, said prior to 2006 early voting “wasn’t a thing” and voters had to have a reason to submit an absentee ballot, such as being out of town on election day or attending college.
“Now it’s convenient,” he added. “People love it. It’s easy to make it happen.”
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, who was in Norwalk on Wednesday, announced early voting totals this week. According to NBC Channel WNWO in Columbus, as of Oct. 12, an estimated 910,982 absentee ballots had been requested and 42,470 had been cast statewide.
Locke agreed that early voting is convenient, especially since voters end up getting four or five applications from various political parties or groups before election day.
“They make it really easy for them,” she said.
Overall, Locke has seen early voting increase annually, but has seen the biggest jumps on “even years” for mid-term and presidential elections. She said there was an especially big jump in 2012 and this year is “a lot busier than 2014.”
Ballots for voters who aren’t in the military or overseas started going out Oct. 10 and more than 41,000 have been cast by mail and in person. According to WNWO, at this same point during absentee voting in 2014, nearly 741,000 absentee ballots had been requested and more than 49,000 ballots already had been cast.
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