Focus on Facts
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.
Salling, Mark J. PhD, GISP, "Efforts to Promote Voting by Mail May Help Ensure Strong Voter Turnout Among Both Young and Old Voters in Cuyahoga County's Fall 2020 Election" (2020). All Maxine Goodman Levin School of Urban Affairs Publications. 0 1 2 3 1668.