Nov. 4—Voters have cast 7,563 early in-person ballots and 6,909 absentee ("by-mail") ballots have been returned of 10,169 applications requested as of Nov. 1, the Lake County Elections Board has confirmed, indicating total early voting is set to surpass figures from the Aug. 8 Special Election.
Officials noted Oct. 30 as a high early in-person day, when 946 ballots were cast.
"For the November 7 General Election, overall, projected turnout is around 48 to 50 percent," said Lake County Elections Board Director Dante Lewis, who was named to the position Sept. 19 after Ross McDonald resigned to take on the role of deputy director for the Delaware County Elections Board.
Lewis, who hails from Mahoning County, has been with the Lake County Elections Board since July 2021, serving as assistant deputy director and deputy director.
Amy Kistner, who previously served as absentee voting coordinator, was named acting deputy director.
In August, Lewis added, overall turnout was 45.13 percent, with early voting totals seeing 7,242 ballots cast, including 5,146 of 6,738 absentee applications.
The last day to vote early, officials confirmed, is Nov. 5. Polls will be open from 1 to 5 p.m.
Lewis emphasized that the postmark deadline for mailed absentee ballots is Nov. 6, adding they may be returned by mail or personally delivered to the Elections Board (105 Main St. in Painesville).
If not returned by mail, ballots must be received by the office no later than 7:30 p.m. Nov. 7.
The board's dropbox is open 24/7 and is under video surveillance. Bipartisan teams empty the box several times throughout the day.
"Please do not bring absentee ballots to (your) polling locations (on Election Day)," Lewis said, "as they will not be accepted."
Lake County boasts 51 polling locations, and Elections Board records show the county has 161,740K registered voters, the 12th largest county-by-voter registration population in the state.
Lake County residents can also take Laketran's Local Routes 1-9 or a door-to-door Dial-a-Ride trip free to their polling locations on Election Day through the agency's "Vote and Ride" program.
Lewis stressed that no on-site voting at the Lake County Administration Center will take place Nov. 7.
"Our geographic size contributes to our strong early voting turnout, and Painesville is centrally located, no more than a 25-minute drive from the farthest lengths of the county," he said. "We also remind voters to please make sure they have a valid form of photo ID....and to verify it is not expired."
Forms of identification that may be used include:
—An Ohio driver's license, state ID card, or interim ID form issued by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles ("BMV")
—A commercial driver's license, motorcycle operator's license, probationary or restricted license, or temporary instruction permit
—An interim identification form (a BMV document issued to a person who has just applied for a driver's license or state ID card, to use until the permanent card arrives in the mail)
—U.S. passport or passport card
—U.S. military ID card, Ohio National Guard ID card, or U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs ID card (collectively referenced as "military ID")
For more information, call 440-350-2700 or 800-899-5253 or visit www.lakecountyohio.gov/boe/.