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Publication Date


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Focus on Facts

Research Center

Northern Ohio Data and Information Service (NODIS)


Voting by mail (VBM) has been a well-established practice in the State of Ohio for many years before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Cuyahoga County's Fall 2016 election, for example, more than 193,000 voters (31.8% of all voters) chose the VBM option to cast their ballots.

Individual voter records are confidential. Yet in a previous Focus on Facts the author described a method to analyze publicly available voter records that produces reliable estimates to describe the demographics of who votes (race, age, neighborhood, etc.).

Figure 1 reveals how the use of VBM varied by age group among Cuyahoga County voters in the Fall 2016 election. Among voters 65 and older, more than half (51.4%) used the VBM option. In addition, the highest proportional use of VBM among voters under the age of 55 was among the youngest voters, aged 18-24.


August 2020