Ohio Voter Turnout with Pot on Ballot Beats Midterm Election

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Unofficial results show more Ohioans voted in Tuesday’s off-year election that included a marijuana legalization issue than in last year’s midterm election highlighted by the race for governor.

Data from the secretary of state’s office indicate nearly 3.2 million people, or about 42.4 percent of Ohio’s registered voters, cast ballots for this general election. Local officials reported roughly 125,000 outstanding absentee and provisional ballots.

Low turnout had been expected in part because early presidential politicking largely overshadowed 2015 campaigns. But the turnout topped the roughly 40.7 percent reported last November, when Gov. John Kasich was re-elected. The number of ballots cast also is higher this year.

By comparison, turnout was 47 percent in 2011, when the repeal of Senate Bill 5 limits on collective bargaining was on the ballot.