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2018 was a big election year in Ohio. Republicans held onto all five statewide executive offices including governor and super majorities in both the Ohio House and Senate. But there were a few bright spots for Democrats, among them the reelection of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and the election of two Democrats to the Ohio Supreme Court.With election 2018 over, the focus now shifts to governing. Stay connected with the latest on politics, policies and people making the decisions at all levels affecting your lives.

Contested Primaries Boost Early Voting Numbers

Ohio voting sticker

The final early voting numbers are in and Ohio has seen a larger turnout heading into this year's primary than in the last gubernatorial primary four years ago.

It’s easy to guess that this year’s hotly contested races for the Republican and Democratic nomination for governor contributed to the larger turnout. There's also a state constitutional amendment that would change how Ohio's congressional districts are drawn.


More than 260,000 people cast absentee ballots, either by mail or in-person. That’s an increase of about 60,000 people compared to 2014, when there weren't any competitive races for either party on the primary ballot. 


Democrats, who are deciding among six candidates for governor, cast more than 132,000 ballots, while Republicans, who have races for governor and U.S. senator on their statewide ballots, cast 113,000 absentee votes.


Absentee ballots are the first to be counted when the polls close at 7:30 tonight. Overall turnout is likely to be less than 30 percent.


Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.