Live updates: Ohio polls now closed, Butler County early votes to be reported by 8 p.m.

Bob Arnold places his absentee ballot in the drop box at Butler County Board of Elections on election day Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Bob Arnold places his absentee ballot in the drop box at Butler County Board of Elections on election day Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

UPDATE @ 7:30 p.m.

Polls are closed in Ohio.

Butler County Board of Election officials say the first votes to be reported will be the 109,968 early votes cast on or before Monday, Nov. 2. Those votes will be posted at around 8 p.m., according to elections officials.

UPDATE @ 5:40 p.m.

Butler County voter turnout in southwest Ohio is at 70.53 percent with two hours left in voting on Election Day.

Voter turnout was 71.05 percent in 2016 and 71.32 percent in 2012.

Polls close today at 7:30 p.m. in Ohio, and anyone in line to vote by that time will be allowed to cast a ballot.

Heading into Election Day, nearly 110,000 early votes were cast on or before Nov. 2. That represents 43.5 percent of registered Butler County voters.

UPDATE @ 3:30 p.m.

Butler County Board of Elections staff say they are going through the absentee ballots that were mailed and received today as they wait for the next influx of voters that are due later this afternoon until the polls close at 7:30 p.m.

Diane Noonan, Butler County elections director, said, “everything has been so steady all day.”

“We had a lot of people voting early and we will have an influx of people at the end of the day,” she said. “This is going to be one for the books.”

As of 3:23 p.m., 53,571 people have voted today at the county’s 283 precincts. This in addition to the 115,719 early voting ballots already submitted. The total number of ballots cast is 169,290 with just more than four hours before the polls close.

Some voters came to cast their ballots at the Butler County Board of Elections on election day Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Some voters came to cast their ballots at the Butler County Board of Elections on election day Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

UPDATE @ 12:30 p.m.

Alexys Napier cast her first ballot today at Wilson Middle School in Hamilton today and was celebrated by poll workers.

“I came out to vote today because I wanted to make a change and be able to cast my opinion out there to see if I could change the world and move to make something different,” she said.

Napier, 18, opted to vote on Election Day because she thought she would be waiting a long time in lines during early voting. She accomplished her task in about 15 minutes.

Alexys Napier, 18, votes for the first time on election day Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 at Wilson Middle School in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Alexys Napier, 18, votes for the first time on election day Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 at Wilson Middle School in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

“It makes me feel empowered and feel like I have voice,” Napier said about voting.

She said it was very easy to check-in at the polls and felt the placement of the polling stations and other precautions were necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“I think I made the right choice,” she said.

UPDATE @ 11:46 a.m.

As of 11:30 a.m., more than 39,000 people have voted today, according to the Butler County Board of Elections.

Eric Corbin, county deputy elections director, said the polling sites have gotten through the morning rush and it seems things are slowing down a bit for the moment. Corbin is working on processing absentee ballots.

“I think we’re doing very well,” he said.

Naneeka Thomas casts her ballot on election day Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 at Wilson Middle School in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Naneeka Thomas casts her ballot on election day Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 at Wilson Middle School in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

With the latest count added to the absentee and early voting ballots already cast, Butler County already has a 60.25% voter turnout as 154,813 ballots have been cast. And there is more than seven hours to go before voting ends tonight.

UPDATE @ 10:40 a.m.

Lucas Brongersma said it was more traditional for him to show up and vote at his Madison Twp. polling station instead of voting early.

“I kind of heard that there were some really long lines and stuff like that so I didn’t know what I was walking into,” he said. “I figured we’d check it out before school and if not, hop in (line) after drop-off.”

Brongersma said the line to vote "wasn’t bad and it was a safe voting place.

“It all turned out pretty good,” he said. “I’m glad I went when I did.”

Brongersma said the polling place at the Madison Schools Auxiliary Gym did not seem much different than in past years. He said the poll workers were really helpful and explained everything.

Voters cast their ballot on election day at Madison schools auxiliary gymnasium Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 in Madison Township. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Voters cast their ballot on election day at Madison schools auxiliary gymnasium Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 in Madison Township. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

“I always feel that if you don’t voice your opinion (by voting), then your opinion really doesn’t matter.”

Brongersma, 31, said there are a lot of things that affect me now than in the last election.

“I want things to go in a certain direction and that’s why I came out to vote,” he said.

ExploreElections official: Butler County will break voter turnout record this year

UPDATE @ 8:43 A.M.

People were lined up early this morning before the polls opened at the Butler County Board of Elections and some had to be redirected to their home polling places.

Eric Corbin, Butler County deputy elections director, said some of the voters didn’t realize that on Election Day, they were supposed to go to regular polling places instead of the elections board offices.

“They were nice about it when it was explained to them that early voting is done at the elections board office,” Corbin said.

He said there were no major issues to report, other than missing supplies and extension cords at start out.

Kathy McFarland cleans voting machine between voters on election day at Madison schools auxiliary gymnasium Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 in Madison Township. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Kathy McFarland cleans voting machine between voters on election day at Madison schools auxiliary gymnasium Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 in Madison Township. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

INITIAL REPORT

Election Day has finally arrived, and local polling places in Butler County and throughout Ohio will be open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. today.

Any eligible voter in line by 7:30 will be allowed to cast a ballot.

The Journal-News has a team of journalists dedicated to live coverage today of issues that affect polling places, voter safety and election security and will update this story throughout the day today until polls close.

For those who are casting their ballots today, our 2020 Election Guide offers important information about every contested local race and every issue.

We will track results live tonight, providing the latest updates on the presidential race nationwide and in Ohio, and covering local candidates and tax issues.

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