Voter turnout highest in decades

LISBON — The Nov. 3 election resulted in the highest voter turnout in the county in at least 36 years and maybe ever.

According to the final figures at the county elections board, 50,411 registered voters cast ballots in the election, which broke the old record of 49,265 in the 2008 presidential election. The newspaper’s turnout records only go back to 1984.

The turnout also broke the record in terms of percentage. Approximately, 76.02 percent of registered voters cast ballots, eclipsing the old record of 75.9 percent set in the 1992 presidential election.

“That’s pretty impressive turnout,” noted county elections board chairman David Johnson at Wednesday’s meeting. The meeting was held to certify the results of the Nov. 3 election after the valid provisional and last-minute absentee ballots were included with those cast on and by election day to produce the official count.

Because of the COVID-19 virus, 13,177 people voted absentee and 9,198 voted early in the board office. The combined 22,375 in early voting represented 44 percent of all ballots cast.

And while Joe Biden appears to have won the presidency, Columbiana County remained solidly Donald Trump country. Trump received 71.5 percent of the vote to 26.7 percent for Biden. This was an improvement over his 2016 performance, when Trump outpolled Hillary Clinton 68.1 percent to 26.7 percent.

Trump won easily in all three cities, all six villages and all 18 townships. In fact, Trump won in all 87 polling precincts in the county. In 2016, he won all but one precinct in Wellsville, but even then he only lost to Clinton by four votes.

In other action, the board will perform the mandatory post-election vote audit on Dec. 1 to determine the accuracy of the county’s paper ballot/optical scan voting system. The Ohio Secretary of State chooses a statewide race and the board picks a countywide race. The board then chooses polling places equal to at least percent of the votes cast in those races and those votes will then be counted by hand and compared to the electronic tally.

Chosen for the hand count is one of the Ohio Supreme Court judge races and the county recorder race. The hand count is open to the public.


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