Analysis: Early Voting Doesn't Mean More Votes

By: The Associated Press, Todd Baucher Email
By: The Associated Press, Todd Baucher Email

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A newspaper analysis finds early voting in Ohio hasn't led to more votes being cast.

The Columbus Dispatch analyzed the vote totals for the past three presidential elections. Numbers showed that turnout in the 2012 race - when Ohioans arguably had the most opportunities in state history to vote early - was lower than the 2004 election when there was no early voting.

Turnout in 2008 - the first election for early voting - was about 1 percent higher than in 2004.

Ohio State University political science professor Paul Beck says people who vote early typically are going to vote anyway, so it hasn't boosted the total number.

Being able to vote before election day has become a hot topic in the state since the 2004 race.

Washington County found similar results in its own analysis.

"We've discovered that the actual voter turnout numbers don't vary much. They're usually in the high 60's or low 70's percentages," says Tara Hupp, director of the Washington County Board of Elections. "What has changed is the style of voting or the way they vote. More are voting absentee now, than they did prior to 2006. But it hasn't changed the overall turnout at all."

Hupp says the elections board is still waiting for the secretary of state's office to set early voting hours for this fall's election.

a court ruling last week said Ohioans should be allowed to cast ballots both the weekend and Monday before election day.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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