It’s more difficult because there are no statewide issues on this ballot, which usually drives turnout down, but a record number of people voted by mail in 2020 because they “found out how easy it was,” Corbin said.
Historically, local-year elections ― odd-numbered years when village and city councils, township elected offices, and school boards are up for election ― without statewide ballot measures are low voter-turnout elections.
In 2019, 19.1% of Butler County’s voters participated with no statewide measures. Voter turnout was higher in 2017 (25.3%) with two statewide measures, and it was more than doubled in 2015 (40.61%) with three statewide measures, including the legalization effort for recreational marijuana.
Early voting and voting by mail experienced record highs in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly 52,200 votes were cast by mail, and more than 112,100 early ballots were cast in November 2020.
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
Also, with no mask mandate, that’s another variable that makes it hard to forecast an expected voter turnout percentage, Corbin said. There are more than 255,000 registered Butler County voters.
Early voting is open every weekday at the Butler County Board of Elections, 1802 Princeton Road, until Nov. 1.
Weekend voting will be Oct. 30 and 31. To request a vote-by-mail ballot, visit VoteOhio.gov. All vote-by-mail ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 1, or hand-delivered to the board of elections office by 7:30 p.m. Nov. 2.
A long line forms on the last day of early voting at the Butler County Board of Elections Monday, Nov. 2, 2020 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Credit: Nick Graham
Credit: Nick Graham
FACTS & FIGURES
Voting totals are often driven by the election year ― local office years versus federal and statewide office years ― and what’s on the ballot. Statewide ballot measures often increase voter turnout, especially in odd-year elections when voters decide village and city council, township office, and school board races. Here’s the percent of early voters that voted by mail:
2020*: 46.6% (52,198 votes by mail)
2019*: 29.9% (1,757 votes by mail)
2018: 54% (21,749 votes by mail)
2017: 53.5% (29,983 votes by mail)
2016*: 50.7% (5,057 votes by mail)
*Denotes no statewide ballot measures were on the ballot
SOURCE: Butler County Board of Elections
EARLY VOTING HOURS
Now through Oct. 8: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Oct. 12-15: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Oct. 18-22: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Oct. 25-29: 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
Oct. 30: 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Oct. 31: 1-5 p.m.
Nov. 1: 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
SOURCE: Ohio Secretary of State