Ohio Secretary of State: Vote tabulation will start at 7:31 p.m.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said a handful of initial issues at local polling places have been ironed out and voting has been going smoothly.

Once the polls close at 7:30 p.m., vote tabulation will start at 7:31 p.m., he said.

The first ballots reported will be 3.4 million absentee ballots and early in-person ballots, LaRose said.

There were 243,023 outstanding absentee ballots as of Monday afternoon, but that number is expected to drop after county boards of elections receive mail on Tuesday.

Absentee ballots postmarked by Nov. 2 will be counted if they arrive by Nov. 13.

LaRose declined to speculate how long tabulation may take and said election officials would not sacrifice accuracy for speed.

LaRose said he expects Ohio to set a voter turnout record, exceeding the 5.7 million voters who cast ballots in 2008.

When asked about social media reports that “Trump Trains” planned to circle polling locations, LaRose said driving around expressing support for a candidate is protected free speech but impeding traffic or intimidating voters is prohibited.

LaRose said that voters in line for county Board of Elections ballot drop boxes by 7:30 p.m. will be allowed to submit their ballots, similarly voters in line for in-person voting by 7:30 p.m. will be allowed to vote.

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