DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Boards of Elections in the Miami Valley said it was a slow first day to the start of early voting in Ohio, but they are optimistic turnout will increase closer to the May 3 primary.

Montgomery, Miami and Greene county elections officials said they saw below normal turnout for the start of early voting Tuesday.

Elsie Williams and Freddie Fields were some of the first to cast their ballots early in Montgomery County.

“They had on the TV early voting starts today, so I called my brother and he said yeah, let’s go do it,” Williams said.

Williams said she always tries to vote early; for Fields, it was his first time.

“Usually on election day where I usually go, it’s pretty crowded, so I usually come early,” Williams said.

“I think it’s our civil rights as United States citizens to vote,” Fields said.

Boards of Elections offices will be open for early voting up until the day before Election Day. Elections officials said this is one of many opportunities Ohio voters have to cast their ballots.

“All you need to do is bring a form of ID, always be registered, come on in, we’ll get you in and out real quick,” Montgomery County Board of Elections Director Jeff Rezabek said.

“Let’s say they’re busy on election day, they can’t get out of work, or out of town or something, it just gives them more options,” Miami County Board of Elections Deputy Directory Ian Ridgeway said.

While there’s still plenty of time, elections officials said voters shouldn’t wait until the last minute.

“You don’t have to wait in line typically, I don’t know if you’ll have to do that on Election Day, but you certainly, probably, almost certainly will not have to do that here,” Miami County Board of Elections Director Laura Bruns said.

This primary will determine who’s on the ballot for U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, Ohio governor, attorney general, secretary of state and more.

“During the primary is the only time you can change your party affiliation, for those who don’t know,” Greene County Board of Elections Director Alisha Beeler said.

What won’t be on the ballot this time are races for Ohio Senate, Ohio House of Representatives and the state central committee due to delays in the redistricting process.

If you can’t make it in-person to vote, there’s still time to apply for an absentee ballot.

“We are already sending out today the absentee ballot, the ballot itself, to them, and so, once you do that, you can really sit at home, look at the candidates, choose your candidates,” Rezabek said.

To find your early voting locations and hours, request an absentee ballot or volunteer to be a poll worker, click here.