Early voting period ends in Ohio, here are the final voter turnout numbers in the Valley
The early voting period in Ohio has come to a close with just one day to go before Election Day. Before that though, 21 News contacted the Board of Elections in all three counties in the Valley to see how voter turnout was for each.
In Trumbull County, Board of Elections Director, Stephanie Penrose tells 21 News early voter turnout was "incredible" with the county seeing over 700 more in person voters compared to the August special election a few months back.
Penrose says there was a total of 10,236 early in-person voters compared to 9,498 early in-person voters in August. Meanwhile there were 4,333 absentee ballots returned, around 1,300 more than the August special election.
When comparing this turnout to other odd year general elections, Penrose says this turnout is very high compared to years past reporting a near 8,000 voter increase compared to the November 2021 general election.
Penrose attributes this high turnout to Issues 1 and 2 which would enshrine abortion rights into Ohio's constitution and legalize recreational marijuana in Ohio respectively.
"I think they're just very polarizing issues you'd definitely feel strongly about," Penrose said.
Additionally, Penrose credits a few "heated" trustee races in communities like Liberty Township and Howland Township as contributing factors to the higher turnout.
Meanwhile in Columbiana County, Board of Elections Deputy Director, Bryce Miner tells us that voter turnout is higher than usual there too reporting the second highest early voter turnout in the county of all time.
Miner reported an in-person total of 2,943 early voters, a record only beaten by 9,198 early voters set in 2020. Meanwhile with mail-in ballots a total of 1,837 were sent out and 1,465 were returned so far. Miner says he expects that number to go up by the end of the day.
He went on to say that in-person voting outperformed mail-in voting this time around.
Miner also credits Issues 1 and 2 as contributing factors to the county's higher voter turnout, but also credits local issues like mayoral races, council races and levies as contributing factors.
In total, Penrose tells us she expects a 40 to 50% voter turnout by the end of the election in Trumbull County and Miner tells us he expects a 50% turnout in Columbiana County.
21 News has reached out to Mahoning County Board of Elections Director, Tom McCabe for early voting numbers in Mahoning County, but have not heard back as of this writing.