Ohio voters cast record number of absentee ballots

Almost 1.9 million Ohioans voted an absentee ballot in last year's election — a record number for the perennial presidential battleground state.
Associated Press
Jan 10, 2013

Roughly 33 percent of the more than 5.6 million votes cast in the November election were from absentee ballots, according to reports released Wednesday from Secretary of State Jon Husted. The early ballots accounted for about 30 percent of the overall votes cast in 2008.

Voters in Ohio can cast an absentee ballot early by mail or in person without giving any reason.

Husted, a Republican, attributed the boost to uniform days and hours for in-person voting. Plus, the state sent absentee ballot applications to millions of registered voters statewide for the first time last year. Almost 1.3 million Ohioans voted an absentee ballot by mail, while more than 600,000 cast an absentee ballot in person.

A higher number of provisional ballots also were counted last year, about 84 percent compared with 80 percent in 2008. Provisional ballots include those cast when voters don't bring proper ID to the polls or cast them in the wrong precinct.

More 34,000 provisional ballots were rejected this past fall, while nearly 40,000 provisional ballots were tossed out in 2008. Husted said the majority of those rejected weren't eligible to be counted because the person was not registered to vote in Ohio.

Overall, statewide voter turnout was 70.5 percent for the last year's election, compared with nearly 70 percent in 2008.

State lawmakers have been mulling whether to update Ohio's election law after the campaign season was marked by several lawsuits that included challenges to the state's early voting and provisional ballot rules. It's not yet clear whether a proposal will be brought forward in the new legislative session that began this week.

Husted has suggested that Ohio's voting hours and days should be written into state law, along with its rules on provisional ballots.

On Wednesday, he reinforced the need for those changes during a speech to a conference of local election officials. He also advocated for online voter registration and absentee ballot requests.

"For reasonable people, there is nothing controversial here; it represents steady progress, but it is important that we get it done," Husted said, according to remarks provided to reporters from his office.

 

Comments

kURTje

That's because in part because many Buckeyes are military. Ohio is one the top states in the nation with military individuals.

Maggdi

I'd like to know what's so special in this state? The national turn out was reported as especially low. 56% off the top of my head.

WiredMamba666

Husted, a Republican, attributed the boost to uniform days and hours for in-person voting, [which limited days and hours forcing people to vote absentee and were forced on us by Husted] there ya go.

Ohio has only had no fault absentee voting since 2006, so people are probably only becoming aware now on a large scale.

princedenny

How many of those ballots were sent by the democrats to dead (or mentally incapacitated) people, foreclosed homes, etc. to get their boy re-elected? Now we have his health care plan and he wants gun control? So much for a democracy while Barry is in office!!!

rickross2

That damn Barry ruins everything.

44846GWP

Your kidding, right? The Board of elections send out absentee ballots, not democrats or Republicans! They send them to "dead people"? Then how do they fill them out and mail them in?! Get a clue.

coasterfan

LOL. Democrats don't need to steal elections. They have a majority and in 2012 won the old-fashioned way: with superior numbers supporting their cause.

For actual examples of unethical election practices, please look no further than:
2012: Ohio Republican Party gerrymandered districts
2012: Husted attempts to quell early voting, which Democrats favor. He continued to try this almost until election day in November.
2012: Republicans attempt to disenfranchise thousands of voters in PA by trying to enact voter ID laws that would supposedly prevent voter fraud (of which there were surprisingly few verified cases - less than 100 nationwide). The GOP plan would have disproportionally affected inner city voters, who predominantly vote Democrat.

The list, of course, goes on, and luckily, most of the things the GOP tried were struck down in court. That's their game: since they couldn't come up with a candidate that a majority of voters would support, their only option was to try to tilt the table by cheating.

If you wish to continue the discussion, I'll be glad to point out more examples, and trust me, there are many, many more examples of Republican leadership doing this sort of thing than Democrats.

Enjoy your sour grapes. Or rather, get used to them. Since the Republican Party appears to be unable or unwilling to change, I'm perfectly happy with you being an angry, irrelevant minority.

The Big Dog's back

More angry Repubs.

tk

@princedenny, The Democrats didn't send out the absentee ballots. Husted did.