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LaRose Releases Final Early Voting Totals Ahead of the May 3rd Primary

Total Absentee Requests and Total Early Votes Cast Surpass Most Recent Comparable Primary Election in 2018

COLUMBUS – Just one day before Ohio's May 3rd Primary Election, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced today that 301,837 absentee ballots have been requested by-mail or in-person and that 263,542 votes have been cast statewide.

These numbers surpass 2018’s total of 300,765 absentee ballots requested through the end of the early voting period and 260,443 total early votes cast.

Data was collected by the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office via a survey of Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections. Data as of the end of early voting on May 2, 2022 are the following:

Ballots Requested: Democratic 138,066 Republican 158,813 Non-Partisan 4,958. Ballots Cast Early In Person: Democratic 56,415 Republican 79,466 Non-Partisan 1,847 Total Ballots Returnedand Submitted for Counting: Democratic 118,096 Republican 141,313 Non-Partisan 4,133

A full county-by-county breakdown (XLSX)

“Republican voters have been casting their early votes at a far faster rate than four years ago, while Democrats have been significantly behind that pace,” said LaRose. “With that shift in favor of Republicans, overall early voting in this primary election has now surpassed the most comparable primary election in 2018. Political prognosticators are welcome to theorize its significance, but it’s clear Ohio voters have faith in our secure, accurate, and accessible election system.”

At the same point in the 2018 primary election, 153,844 Democrats had requested an absentee ballot while 128,709 Republicans had made the same request.

This election season, Ohio voters enjoyed nearly 200 hours of early voting in the May 3rd primary. Ohio is one of 18 states that allows voting on a Saturday and one of just six states that allows early voting on a Sunday. Ohio’s early voting period is 21% longer than the national average.

Of the 42 states that run a traditional absentee voting system, a comprehensive review by the Brookings Institute determined no state does it better than Ohio. SOURCE: www.brookings.edu/research/voting-by-mail-in-a-pandemic-a-state-by-state-scorecard/.

Absentee voting in Ohio is time-tested and has strong security checks in place.

Ohioans have utilized absentee voting for two decades, and that has allowed Ohio to put in place both the laws and processes necessary to make absentee voting secure against fraud.

  • Voter identification and signature are checked TWICE during the process
  • Voter list maintenance allows for accurate voter rolls
  • Ballot harvesting is against the law in Ohio
  • Voters are able to track their ballot on VoteOhio.gov/Track.

These requirements and processes, as well as strict laws against voter fraud, have made absentee voting secure in Ohio and instances of voter fraud exceedingly rare. Learn more about how Ohio keeps our elections secure by visiting ElectionSecurity.Ohio.gov.

Voters should consider these best practices when they choose the absentee ballot option:

  • Fill in the information properly. Review the form to ensure you have filled it out properly, including writing your date of birth where required, not the day’s date, as well as signing your request form.

  • Include your e-mail and/or phone number. County boards of elections will be calling or e-mailing voters who may need to remedy information on their ballot request form or absentee ballot envelope. Including your information will ensure you can be reached if your ballot request doesn’t have everything filled out properly.

  • Don’t wait. To accommodate necessary processing time at the county board of elections and the time required for the United States Postal Service to deliver elections mail, voters should not procrastinate – fill out and mail your absentee ballot request as soon as possible.

  • Double check your return envelope. Before you submit your ballot request form, make sure the envelope is addressed to your county board of elections.

  • Track your ballot. Once their ballot request is received by their county board of elections, voters may track their ballot at VoteOhio.gov/Track. As long as your ballot is postmarked by the day before the election and received within 10 days (or 20 days for UOCAVA voters) after the election at your county board of elections, your vote will be tabulated.

Ohio voters will find the following races on their primary ballot:

  • Governor
  • Attorney General
  • Auditor of State
  • Secretary of State
  • Treasurer of State
  • Ohio Supreme Court
  • U.S. Senate
  • U.S. Representative to Congress
  • Additional Judicial and municipal candidates

The offices of State Senator, State Representative, and Member of State Central Committee will not appear on the May 3rd Primary Election ballot.

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Rob Nichols
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