The May 6 primary may be a month away, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait to cast your ballot.
Early voting starts today in Ohio, 35 days before Election Day. You have the option to request an absentee ballot and vote by mail, or you can vote early in-person. If you are not registered, the deadline to do that is Monday, April 7. The Secretary of State’s website is a great source of information if you have any questions.
The number of voters choosing to vote early in Ohio has grown in recent years. In the 2008 General Election, 29.7% of votes were cast early. By the 2012 General Election, that number had risen to 33.3%.
There are likely two reasons for this. The first is the public’s increased awareness of early voting options. Secretary of State Jon Husted’s decision to mail unsolicited absentee applications to every voter in the 2012 General Election is a major catalyst for that. Also, there was a political firestorm over early voting hours (and there still is), which created a lot of media attention. Second, the Democrat party has made early voting a major priority in the bigger cities. Early voting allows them to more easily organize their get out the vote (GOTV) effort, pushing the proportion of early votes higher.
If you choose to vote early, be sure to vote for the Ohio Chamber PAC endorsed candidates – as long as you’re in one of those districts of course.