Ohio Elections chief: nearly 150K absentee ballots requested

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Nearly 150,000 absentee ballots have been requested with about three weeks to go before the state’s March 17 presidential primary, Ohio’s elections chief said Tuesday.

Of the 149,736 absentee ballots requested by mail or in-person, 18,189 votes have been cast statewide so far, said Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose.

By contrast, 151,697 voters had requested absentee ballots at the same period four years ago, with 10,104 votes cast to date.

The March 17 primary gives state Democrats their first chance to indicate who they want to enter an almost certain face-off with Republican President Donald Trump this fall. Trump is unopposed in Ohio.

LaRose said Democrats requested 88,448 absentee ballots compared to 56,694 Republican ballots.

Besides the presidential contest, Ohio voters of both parties will select nominees for seats in Congress, the Ohio Legislature, local offices and party central committees. Local issues on March ballots include levies, bonds and alcohol sales.