Polls closed: Clark, Champaign election leaders report busy midterm voting

Polling locations in Ohio closed at 7:30 p.m. today for a midterm election in which voting has been described as busy.

Clark and Champaign County election leaders reported a busy flow of voters going to their polling locations on Tuesday to cast their ballots with little problems.

Ohioans are casting ballots in key federal, state and local races that will shape government leadership for the coming years.

Ohioans voting in-person today should do so at their polling location. If you are unsure of your voting site, go to VoteOhio.gov and click the “find your polling location” link.

Anyone who opted to vote by absentee ballot but did not mail that ballot yet should bring their absentee ballot to their county board of elections drop box by 7:30 p.m. today, according to elections officials.

Local turnout

By Tuesday at 3 p.m., Clark County had seen a voter turnout of more than 39%, with nearly 19,000 voters coming to their polling locations to cast ballots, according to the Clark County Board of Elections. The office projected an overall turnout of 54% by the end of the day.

Polling locations throughout Clark County were consistently busy throughout the day, but the influx of voters was not surprising to poll workers, said Clark County Board of Elections deputy director Amber Lopez. Many people who run Clark County’s voting locations have worked through several elections.

Champaign County was on pace to meet a voter turnout of 65% as of Tuesday afternoon, according to Champaign County Board of Elections director Meredith Bodey.

Poll workers told the board of elections office on Tuesday that they had never seen a “midterm like this,” Bodey said.

Technical issues

Technical issues during Election Day were minimal in both counties, both election boards reported Tuesday afternoon, with a few ballots jamming in Clark machines and some glitches with Champaign electronic poll books that were resolved.

The League of Women Voters of Ohio also reported few issues with casting ballots, and a state elections official said he is not aware of any reports of voter intimidation.

“From what I have heard, it has been very smooth sailing today,” Aaron Ockerman, executive director of the Ohio Association of Election Officials, said in an email. “Long lines everywhere, but I think that is just a result of high turnout.”

State turnout

In-person early voting surpassed 2018 numbers, according to the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office. This year’s totals in Ohio were 549,771, compared to 429,521 at the same point four years ago, according to the state.

Combined with a drop in the requests for absentee ballots from four years ago, the total number of early votes cast passed the previous record set in 2018 by 6 percent, according to the most recent data provided to the Secretary of State’s Office by the 88 county boards of elections.

Those numbers are consistent with what some local counties have seen.

Early voting saw a bump from four years ago in Clark County, according to Clark County Board of Elections Director Jason Baker.

Baker estimated the county had about 500 more in-person early voters than in 2018 and 130 to 140 mail-in more ballots.

“We had a nice and steady weekend Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday,” he said.

Champaign County has seen an influx of early voters this midterm with more than 4,400 early ballots, both in-office and absentee, according to the Champaign County Board of Elections.

What’s at stake

Today’s election includes races for U.S. Senate and Congress, the winners of whom will make key decisions about the national economy.

It includes battles for top statewide offices including governor, secretary of state and state Supreme Court at a time when those positions will have a say in how Ohio’s redistricting controversy plays out for years to come.

Locally, residents will elect candidates to state legislative seats, at a time when state law on abortion is in flux and could be reset.

And at the closest level to home, the election will decide county leadership positions for commission and judge, plus tax renewal levies that affect residents’ service levels and wallets.

Voter resources

** Voter’s guide: If you still want more information about candidates and issues before you vote, check the Springfield News-Sun’s elections page here.

** Tip line: If you see concerns at your polling place, call our newsroom’s tip line at 937-610-7502.

** Other questions: If you need information on how to vote, or how to contact your county board of elections, click the link to this article.

** Results later: Follow SpringfieldNewsSun.com for live election results after the polls close at 7:30 p.m., and get full results and coverage Wednesday morning in our ePaper.

Nick Blizzard contributed to this report.

About the Author