PDT Staff Writer
Tuesday marked the start of absentee voting in Ohio. Scioto County Board of Elections Director Julia Gearheart is predicting a high voter turnout.
“We’ve had 3,500 vote by mail requests and we’ve had over 100 people in the office today (voting). We expect between 13,000 and 15,000 absentee voters this election,” Gearheart said.
According to Gearheart the Scioto County Board of Elections processed 790 absentee ballots in 2008. She said the heavy turn out is largely due to this being a presidential election year.
“When all the news announces Ohio is going to be the deciding factor, yeah we are going to have a heavy turnout,” Gearheart said.
When asked if she had any predictions on the numbers, Gearheart said, “I would like to see 75 percent. Is that going to happen, I hope so.”
If Gearheart’s prognostication is true, the state of Ohio will be prepared.
“We are ready. Boards of elections are prepared and all voters can have confidence that Ohio will conduct a fair, open, and secure general election,” said Jon Husted, Ohio Secretary of State. “No matter which method of voting they choose – in person absentee, by mail absentee or on Election Day – we encourage all Ohioans to take the time now to check their registrations and know the rules so they can have a smooth experience at the polls.”
According to released information from Husted’s office, more than 920,000 absentee ballot applications to vote by mail had been received by county boards of elections statewide. For the 2012 General Election, 7.8 Million Ohioans are currently registered to vote. More than 750 hours over the course of five weeks are available to voters who choose to complete and return their ballots by mail.
Nearly 6.9 Million absentee ballot applications were sent out to Ohio voters over the course of two statewide mailings.
As of Wednesday, there are 33 days until the Nov. 6 General Election.
The Scioto County Board of Elections is located at 602 7th Street, Portsmouth, Office hours are Monday- Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or firstname.lastname@example.org.