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Ohio House, Congress, and U.S. Senate primaries highlight today’s election

| March 19, 2024

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (March 19, 2024) – Election Day voting is underway at the 81 precincts across Tuscarawas County.

The Democratic and Republican presidential nominations are already clinched, but there are still contests to be decided for U.S. Senate, Congress, state representative, and more.

Tuscarawas County Board of Elections Director Gail Garbrandt says they had more than 1,800 ballots cast in person at the courthouse during the 30-day early-voting period that ended Sunday. She also says out of the nearly 3,000 requests for absentee mail-in ballots, just over 1,000 of those had been filled out and returned to the board as of Monday. She says that seems a little low for a presidential primary, but she’s unsure how that will impact today’s participation.

“There are people who love to go to their polling locations,” Garbrandt said. “It’s a tradition for them, and they prefer to go there, and they get to see their friends and neighbors.”

Garbrandt says you also can’t compare the numbers to the last presidential primary four years ago, at the start of the covid pandemic.

“We did have early voting, but the rest of the ballots all had to go by mail. Nobody went to their precincts and voted.”

She says the biggest day of in-person early-voting was Friday, with 177 ballots cast. Just under 70 voters cast ballots on the final day, Sunday.

Garbrandt also reminds everyone that the only voting happening at the board office at the courthouse today is for provisional ballots.

“If you forgot to change your address and you’re not in the same precinct, you need to come and you can vote here provisionally.”

She says voters are sometimes unaware of that on Election Day.

“We do get a lot of people who come here that are not provisional voters, and we just print out their polling location and send them on their way,” she said.

The polls are open in Ohio through 7:30 p.m. this evening.

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