Early voting numbers pick up as primary nears

Posted at 7:03 PM, Mar 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-08 10:07:33-05

The Ohio primary may still be a week away but the votes continue to come in at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

Monday brought the first of expanded hours for in-person voting at East 30th Street and Euclid Avenue, and a steady stream of voters around lunch.

More than 1,700 people have voted early here since the polls opened in mid-February with another 89,000 requesting absentee ballots. While that's only 10 percent of the total county voter base, keep in mind 70 percent of the county, nearly 600,000 voters, are non-partisan and only 4,000 of them have requested ballots.

The latest numbers released Monday show that 36 percent of the county's Republican voters have already requested absentee ballots and 31 percent of Democrats.

"There's a lot of excitement here that we see on both sides of the aisle but we do see an uptick in Republican absentee ballot requests compared to 2012 as opposed to a decrease in absentee ballot request from the democratic side compared to 2012," said Cuyahoga County Board of Elections Director Pat McDonald.

The numbers are picking up as election day nears and more voters lock in on a candidate.

The polls are open through Friday from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. and this weekend from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Monday, the day before the election, will offer reduced in-person voting hours from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.