DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – With less than a week until Election Day, thousands of voters are showing up to cast their ballots early in the Miami Valley.

A steady stream of voters filed into the Montgomery County early voting center Wednesday.

“It really makes all the work that we do when we see these large numbers, know that we’re making a difference and we’re doing it right,” Montgomery County Board of Elections Director Jeff Rezabek said.

Rezabek said the county has already seen 11,000 early voters and it’s not slowing down yet. He said he is expecting 55 to 60 percent voter turnout, or even more.

“We do expect to see higher turnout on Election Day just because of what we’re seeing early,” Rezabek said. “Some people say, well, you got a lot of early, that means less late. I don’t think so. I think people are engaged and I think we’ll see a larger turnout on Election Day.”

Statewide, more than 1.2 million Ohioans have either voted early or requested an absentee ballot, up 2.6% from the last midterm election in 2018, according to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose.

In Miami County, early voting is on par or just above what they saw in 2018.

Miami County Board of Elections Director Laura Bruns said they still have a lot of outstanding absentee ballots.

Those must be postmarked the day before Election Day, November 7, or returned to the county drop box by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted.

“Don’t let them sit on the dining room table, you need to vote that and get it back to us,” Bruns said.

Miami County elections officials are reminding those who requested an absentee ballot to not return it to your precinct on Election Day because it will not be counted. It must either be mailed back or dropped off at your county’s board of elections drop box.

Greene County is also seeing an average, or more early voters coming in to cast their ballots.

“We see them come in to early vote, nobody’s in a bad mood, everyone’s happy to be there and its like, way to exercise those constitutional rights! and it’s exciting,” Greene County Board of Elections Director Alisha Lampert said.

A look at the latest Emerson College, The Hill poll, shows the economy, threats to democracy and abortion access are top issues this year. Along with some highly contests races, like Ohio governor and U.S. Senate.

“I wanted to make sure that we get the right people in the right places so that we can make sure that we are making America great,” early voter Alma Greathouse said.

“Our democracy itself is on the line this time and everybody’s heard all the time,” early voter Jay Mayburk said. “It’s the most important election of your life. It has been before, but this time more than ever. Please vote.”

Early voting at county boards of elections continues up until Monday, November 7.

Early voting hours:

  • November 1-4: 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • November 5: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • November 6: 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • November 7: 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.