Early voting lagging

So far, 148,000 Ohioans have cast early ballots for the Nov. 3 election, which includes three key statewide issues.

The early voting lags behind the ballots cast in 2011 when 680,656 Ohioans voted absentee or early in-person. A referendum on Senate Bill 5, a controversial measure to gut collective bargaining rights, fueled voter turn out that year.

In 2013, when there were no statewide issues, 328,385 voters cast early ballots.

Early voting continues through Monday and an additional 180,000 absentee ballots are in the field and yet to be returned, according to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office.

The three statewide issues are constitutional amendments to change how Ohio draws legislative district maps, modify the rules for citizens proposing constitutional changes and legalize marijuana.