Absentee voting could top prior high
Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner said she expects a record number of absentee ballots cast in Tuesday's primary election, while projecting statewide turnout will be about 52 percent of Ohio's 8 million registered voters.
"I think the interest is so great in this election,'' she said at a Columbus news conference.
That's about 19 percent lower than turnout for the 2004 general election, but nearly 20 percent higher than that year's presidential primary.
Brunner said as many as one-fifth of the roughly 4 million voters expected to cast votes in Tuesday's primary will do so by absentee ballot, or at least 800,000 voters. The previous record for absentee ballots cast was 707,856 in the 2006 general election.
Brunner also promised tighter security protocols, and better media access to polling places and county Boards of Elections than in past elections. She was joined by Attorney General Marc Dann who said anyone attacking the integrity of the election through fraud or tampering will be prosecuted. "We will make sure they go to jail," Dann said.
"To tamper with a voting machine is a felony,'' Brunner added.
Brunner said all 88 counties are prepared to provide paper ballots to any voter who does not want to use an electronic touch-screen machine, if machines fail or the wait becomes excessive.