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Ohio's record-setting 2020 election results certified by secretary of state

Voter turnout for the state was 74%, with 5,974,121 Ohioans casting ballots. Putnam County led all 88 counties in voter turnout with 84.1%.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio's Secretary of State Frank LaRose certified the official results of the 2020 Presidential General Election on Friday morning and Ohio set several records with this election, even amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

A record number of Ohioans voted in the 2020 election as 5,974,121 cast ballots. This surpasses the previous record set in the 2008 general election by 200,344.

The secretary’s signature marks the completion of the official canvass and certifies winners in the 2020 General Election.

The Buckeye State's 18 electoral college votes go to President Donald J. Trump. The electoral college voters cast their votes on Dec. 14, the president of the Senate (Vice President Mike Pence) is to receive the electoral vote certificates on Dec. 23, and a joint session of Congress meets to count the electoral votes on Jan. 6.

In winning Ohio, Trump becomes the first presidential candidate to carry the Buckeye State but lose the general election since Richard Nixon won Ohio and lost to John F. Kennedy in 1960. Biden is currently projected to win the electoral college by a 306-232 margin.

Voter turnout for the state was 74% which is a record for any election in state history. The average for presidential elections since 2000 was 65%.

Each of the state's 88 counties saw higher voter turnout than in 2016, and Putnam County led the state in voter turnout with 84.1%. Eight counties in total exceeded 80% turnout; previously, two counties exceeded 80% in the 2000 election. 

ABSENTEE BALLOT DATA

The Secretary of State's Office said LaRose's goal of maximizing early and absentee voting was a "quantifiable success," pointing to the all-time record set for early and absentee voting: 

58.6% of all votes cast in the election were done early in-person or by absentee ballot. Four years ago, 33.5% cast their ballot in the same way.

94% absentee ballot return rate surpasses rates from 2008, 2012, and 2016

REJECTED BALLOTS

There also was an all-time low number of rejected ballots, which, according to the SOS office, showed "efforts to educate voters and redesign absentee voting forms, instructions and envelopes worked."

Rejection rates by general election:

  • November 2020: 0.42%
  • November 2016: 0.85%
  • November 2012: 1.03%

BALLOTS BY MAIL RETURNED LATE

LaRose said he made the prompt return of absentee ballots a key point in messaging throughout the course of the general election. There were only 84 ballots that were correctly postmarked by Nov. 2 but not received by the county board of elections within the legally required 10 days after the election. 

By comparison, 317 ballots were returned late by the postal service in the primary election – in just one county.

ALL-TIME LOW PROVISIONAL BALLOTS CAST

Ohio saw an all-time low number of provisional ballots that had to be cast this year. LaRose's office attributes this to poll worker training and voter education combined with smart policies.

Total provisional ballots by general election:

  • November 2020: 154,675
  • November 2016: 154,965
  • November 2012: 208,084
  • November 2008: 206,859

Provisional rejection rates by election:

  • Presidential General Election 2020: 15.75%
  • Presidential General Election 2008-2020 Average: 16.60%

Top three reasons for provisional rejection: Voter not registered in state (~70%), Voter registered in state but voted in the wrong precinct and polling location (~10%), and Voter already voted (5%)

Data was collected by the Ohio Secretary of State’s office from the official canvass conducted and submitted by Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections. The secretary of state conducted a precinct-by-precinct review of the data prior to certification.

You can view Ohio's full election results on a county by county and precinct by precinct basis at the Secretary of State's website