CV NEWS FEED // Ohio’s early voter turnout for the August 8 vote on Issue 1 has been massively larger than expected.
The Associated Press (AP) reported that the battle over whether to pass Issue 1 “has driven off-the-charts early turnout before Tuesday’s final day of voting.”
Early turnout has been so heavy that some election offices are straining to manage the load and trying to recruit additional poll workers.
“This is gubernatorial-level turnout,” said Regine Johnson, deputy director of the board of elections in Stark County. As of Thursday, the board was about 100 volunteers short of the number it targeted as the minimum to be fully staffed.
As of Wednesday, more than 533,000 people had voted by mail or in-person since early voting began July 11, according to data collected by The Associated Press. That’s nearly double the final early voting figures for Ohio’s two previous midterm primary elections, which included races for governor and Congress. In the May 2022 primary, for example, 288,700 people voted early, according to AP data.
If passed, Issue 1 will increase the voting threshold to pass a constitutional amendment in the state from a simple majority (50%-plus-one) to 60%. The outcome of this vote, therefore, will be crucial to the fate of a proposed amendment to make abortion a “constitutional right” in Ohio, which will be on the state’s ballot in November.
The most recent polling for the special election has been described as a “dead heat.”
CatholicVote Vice President Josh Mercer said these reports show that, at the end of the day, the outcome of the vote will come down to a numbers game: which side can get more of their supporters to the polls?
“This means we need Catholics to turn out even more,” he said.