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Post Election Report 2021
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Post Election Report 2021

by Nazek Hapasha

Now that county boards of elections have certified results, LWV Ohio has gathered local election highlights from around the state, and has compiled voter registration and turnout rates from across Ohio’s 88 counties to better identify trends and issues.

Poll Workers: Weeks before the election it became clear that Ohio had a severe shortage of poll workers. On October 13, Ohio was 40% short of the number of poll workers needed. A call put out by Secretary of State LaRose helped ease the shortage. By October 25 the state had met about 75% of its goal. Still, shortages remained in several counties including Lucas, Jefferson, Montgomery, and Hamilton. Oftentimes the issue was that there was an imbalance, with some rural counties needing more Democrats working as poll workers and urban counties reporting a lack of Republicans.

Races/Issues: Election day 2021 featured two special congressional elections, mayoral races in several large cities, judicial seats, and local ballot issues. In Ohio’s 11th Congressional District, Councilwoman Shontel Brown (D) defeated Laverne Gore, receiving nearly 80% of the vote in the race to replace former Congresswoman and current Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge (D). The special election of the 15th Congressional District to replace former Congressman Steve Stivers was won by Republican Mike Carey, who received 58.3% of the vote compared to 41.7%, received by State Representative Allison Russo (D). Mike Carey also easily prevailed over a crowded Republican primary with 10 other candidates with an endorsement from former President Donald Trump.

There was many local election highlights across the state including:

Voter Turnout: The average voter turnout rate across Ohio was 25.34%. Although there was a wide range across the entire state, voter turnout for 64 of Ohio’s 88 counties fell in the range of 20% to 30%. 13 counties reported voter turnout rates between 30% and 40%, with Sandusky County a far outlier at 75.23%. 11 counties reported voter turnout rates between 15% and 20%. Higher voter turnout rates were generally seen in Ohio’s smallest counties (according to the number of registered voters). The five smallest counties in Ohio had an average voter turnout rate of 31.8%, whereas the voter turnout rate of counties with more than 100,000 registered voters was primarily under 30%.

Data for Absentee votes cast (which includes votes cast early in-person and by mail) was available for 79 counties at the time this article was written. Of them, the average rate for absentee votes cast showed a wide range and distribution from 1 absentee vote cast in Jefferson County to 44.69% in Jackson County, with an average of 21.94%. Among Ohio’s largest 10 counties there was a wide range; most were below the average although Cuyahoga County was an outlier with 35.83% of ballots cast via absentee vote. Notably, Cuyahoga County voters who cast an absentee ballot heavily favored mail in voting; over 90% of absentee ballots cast were vote by mail. Otherwise, Ohio’s absentee voters generally favor early in-person voting. Only 16 counties had higher vote by mail numbers than early in office voting.

Click here for a complete compilation of voter turnout rates compiled by LWV Ohio.

Return to LWV Ohio Website.