CLEVELAND — Cuyahoga County easily broke its record for vote-by-mail requests in 2020.
However, while Ohio shattered its early voting records during the 2020 election cycle, Cuyahoga County in-person early voting was actually slightly down versus the county's record set in 2008.
Between Oct. 6 and Nov. 2, 51,465 Cuyahoga County residents voted early and in-person, the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections said. That's up significantly versus 2016 (38,413 early votes) and 2012 (45,400). However, Cuyahoga County residents turned out early in record numbers in 2008, when 54,007 votes were cast in-person and early.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still posing a threat to Ohioans, it should come as no surprise that vote-by-mail requests were up significantly in 2020 versus the past three elections. Cuyahoga County Board of Elections data shows 341,917 vote-by-mail ballots were requested this year and 90 percent (306,932) have already been returned.
Ohio shattered all of its previous early voting records this year, with more than 3.4 million Ohioans casting ballots early. Ohio had never before surpassed 2 million early votes. The state has already seen 60 percent of its voting total from 2016 cast early.
With the surge in early voting around the state, Franklin County, Ohio's most populous county, had issues syncing the electronic pollbooks on Tuesday, prompting election officials to move to pen-and-paper for check-ins.
Cuyahoga County, the state's second-most populous county, has not had the "issues suffered by Franklin County," a board of elections official told Patch.
Polls opened at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday and will close at 7:30 p.m. Early votes will be the first tabulated and reported, with results expected to begin at 8 p.m.