Two weeks ahead of Election Day, voting is in full swing in Ohio, with more than 1 million people having requested absentee ballots as of last week and more than 330,000 have been cast by mail and in person.
Many of Ohio’s 8 million registered voters love the convenience of voting early, and it’ll get easier when weekend early voting opens at county boards of election beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday.
Ohio has 28 days of absentee voting, nearly 200 hours of in-person early voting and — if you want to wait until Nov. 6 — 13 hours when polls are open on Election Day. Early voting occurs at county boards of election, while Election Day voting is between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. at your local polling place.
RELATED: Cutting through the hype: What Issue 1 would mean in Ohio
Turnout in midterm elections historically has fallen well below that of presidential elections. An analysis from Mike Dawson, who crunches stats for OhioElectionResults.com, shows that voter turnout for midterms in Ohio averages 53.4 percent compared with 71 percent for presidential elections over the past 40 years.
Voters in midterms tend to be older — an average of 56.5 in 2014 — compared with the average voter age of 51 in the 2016 presidential election, Dawson’s analysis shows.
Polls and political analysts show the Ohio governor’s race is a toss up between Republican Mike DeWine and Democrat Richard Cordray. The website FiveThirtyEight.com ranks the DeWine-Cordray race as one of the three closest gubernatorial contests this fall.
DeWine has a 56.1 percent chance of winning while Cordray has a 43.9 percent chance, the website says, with the expected margin of victory likely to be one percentage point.
Turnout could make or break contests like the DeWine-Cordray race. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted notes that every vote matters: since 2013, 199 elections in Ohio have been decided by one vote or have been tied.
Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor slams Issue 1. Says it wasn't written by Ohioans and citizens should not support it. https://t.co/nlAfA2xAKM pic.twitter.com/zkJVSMho8c— Anthony Shoemaker (@OhioPoliticsEd) October 24, 2018
RELATED: Election 2018: What’s on the ballot?
Voters will also decide State Issue 1, a constitutional amendment that would reclassify low-level felony drug use and drug possession charges as misdemeanors with no jail time for the first two offenses.
Also on the ballot: Democrat incumbent U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is facing a challenge from U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Wadsworth; two seats on the Ohio Supreme Court are up for grabs; legislative seats in the Ohio House and Senate and U.S. House are in play; and executive offices — attorney general, auditor, secretary of state and treasurer — will be decided.
Campaign finance reports are due Thursday, which will give an indication of who is winning the races for campaign cash.
HOW TO VOTE:
Check MyOhioVote.com to find your polling place and see a sample ballot.
Request an absentee ballot no later than noon Nov. 3 and make sure the ballot is postmarked by Nov. 5 or dropped off at the Board of Elections office by 7:30 p.m. Nov. 6.
Early in-person vote at your local county Board of Elections, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday this week; 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday the week of Oct. 29; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays; 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 4; 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 5.
Vote on Tuesday Nov. 6 at your local polling place between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Source: Ohio Secretary of State
GET READY FOR ELECTION DAY
Voters guide online: Compare the other candidates on your ballot using our interactive voters guide on our website
Newsletter: Sign up for our daily Ohio Politics newsletter for the latest on Election 2018 and the news of the day
Twitter: Stay up to date with the latest from the campaign trail on @Ohio_Politics
Facebook: Speak out on the issues and candidates on our Ohio Politics Facebook page
About the Author