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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.

As Early Voting Begins, Experts Say Results Will Hinge on Voter Turnout

photo of voting
KAREN KASLER
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
There are currently more than 8 million registered voters in Ohio.

Early voting is now underway in Ohio, which has seen strong Republican wins in the last two midterm election cycles. But many are wondering about the impact of an increase in registered voters in a midterm year that looks good nationwide for Democrats.

Cathy Adamescue of Columbus is planning a trip next month, so she decided to get voting out of the way early.

“I probably could have voted on voting day, but I wasn’t really sure, and I did not want to miss an opportunity to vote,” she said.

There are more than 8 million registered Ohio voters, the fourth largest total in state history. But elections expert Mike Dawson said turnout – early and through election day – is what’s important.

“If you increase your voter turnout percent by 10 percent, that would be an additional 800,000 voters," he said.

Democrats did well statewide in 2006, with 53 percent turnout. Then Republicans swept state offices in 2010, when there were more registered voters but turnout was just under 50 percent. Turnout dropped by 10 points in 2014.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.