Early voters lined up at the door of the Delaware County Board of Elections Wednesday morning waiting for early voting to open in Ohio for the 2016 general election.
“As of 12:30 p.m., 247 people have voted in person,” said Josh Pedaline, deputy director, “and there are more than 23,000 absentee ballots to go out.”
Board officials said Delaware County had a 79 percent voter turnout with more than 99,000 registered voters in the 2012 presidential election. That was the highest turnout in Ohio.
County officials are expecting an 80 percent or higher voter turnout this election, fueled by the presidential election and several local issues.
Abby Metheney said when she arrived for work at the board office “a line was waiting at the door.”
Officials estimate there to be 133,000 registered voters in the county for this 2016 election cycle. During the 2012 general election, officials said that the county had nearly 126,000 registered voters where 15,000 voted absentee and 25,500 voted by mail or in person.
One early voter admitted that it was his first time voting. Jeff Jones said he felt this election is very important and he wanted to vote for his presidential candidate.
Secretary of State Jon Husted said in a news release that approximately 7.8 million Ohioans are registered to vote in the general election. Statewide, the county boards of elections have received an estimated 1.1 million absentee ballot applications.
Of the 1.1 million, 17,300 were from military and overseas requests that were mailed out Sept. 24. Of the 17,300 there have been 1,445 returned. Absentee ballots for all other voters were to be mailed out Wednesday.
According to a report by The Associated Press, Ohioans will decide candidate races for congressional and state legislative seats, Ohio Supreme Court Justices, appellate judges, and members of the state Board of Education. They will also be making decisions on more than 1,800 local issues on the ballots this election cycle.
The Delaware County Board of Elections has scheduled the following dates and times for registered voters to vote early.
• Thursday, Oct. 13 – Friday Oct. 14, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
• Monday, Oct. 17 – Friday, Oct. 21, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
• Monday, Oct. 24 – Friday, Oct. 28, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
• Saturday, Oct. 29, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
• Sunday, Oct. 30, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.
• Monday, Oct. 31 – Friday, Nov. 4 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
• Saturday, Nov. 5, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
• Sunday, Nov. 6, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.
• Monday, Nov. 7, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
D. Anthony Botkin maybe reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin