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Montgomery County Voters Turn Out On Election Day

A voter wearing a face mask at Cox Arboretum and Gardens in Dayton, Ohio sits at a table filling out her ballot. Her ballot is hidden to others by a partition that has a picture of the American flag and the word vote. There are masked poll workers in the background. [Caption: A voter at Cox Arboretum and Gardens Tuesday morning filling out a paper ballot.]
Leila Goldstein

Ohio’s early-vote total broke records this year with more than 3.4 million ballots cast, according to the Secretary of State’s office. The Montgomery County Board of Elections reported that over 57,000 people voted early in-person in the county. But many voters still chose to vote on Election Day.

Calvin Lanier got to his polling site at Precious Blood Church this morning ready for a long wait.

“I came with my bag and a coat and everything, some snacks just in case of long lines,” he said. “I came prepared.”

It went smoother than he expected, and took him 50 minutes in total. He wanted to vote early, but decided to vote today because he uses a wheelchair and he knew his local polling site was accessible for him.

Bradley Wells voted at Cox Arboretum and Gardens. He said he thought if he voted on Election Day, his vote would be less likely to get thrown out.

“I just didn’t really trust the early voting and the mail-in ballots, just due to the fact that there was so much: Hey, this is getting thrown out, or we found a bunch of votes at a post office or something like that,” he said.

Voting this year did take much longer for Wells. He said he is normally in and out in 15 minutes. Today he waited an hour and a half.

As of last night, the county had received over 90% of the absentee ballots mailed out, according to Montgomery County Board of Elections Director Jan Kelly. Remaining absentee ballots can still be counted if they are postmarked by Nov. 2 and received in the mail within 10 days of the election.

Kelly said she expects about 95% of the votes cast by the end of voting today will be counted by midnight or sooner.

While working at the station Leila Goldstein has covered the economic effects of grocery cooperatives, police reform efforts in Dayton and the local impact of the coronavirus pandemic on hiring trends, telehealth and public parks. She also reported Trafficked, a four part series on misinformation and human trafficking in Ohio.