by J.D. Davidson
Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan, an outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump, easily won re-election to Ohio’s Fourth Congressional District in an election that had few surprises statewide.
However, as the night wore on, Ohio’s presidential outcome became more interesting nationwide as the race for the state’s 18 electoral votes continued to tighten between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.
With 82% of the vote reported at 10:30 p.m. EST, Trump held 52.4% of the vote, leading Biden by nearly 6 points, but the state remained too close to call.
Jordan, a seven-term congressman, easily turned away Democratic challenger Susan Freshour, holding more than a 30-point lead with 97% of the vote counted.
The only race that seemed in doubt for a U.S. House of Representative incumbent was in District 12, where Republican Troy Balderson trailed Democratic Alaina Shearer early in the night but rallied later.
With nearly 75% of the vote counted, Balderson held a 12-point lead and looked on his way to winning.
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said Tuesday afternoon official results from Tuesday’s general election in Ohio will not be known Tuesday night. However, that is the case during every election.
All results reported Tuesday do not become official until certified by LaRose later in November.
Ohio had a record number of 3.4 million early votes, with 1.34 million casting votes early in-person and 2 million absentee ballots received. Still, 1.8 million absentee ballots were still outstanding heading into Tuesday’s election. As long as those ballots are postmarked by Nov. 2, the state has up to three days to receive and count those ballots.
Trump has criticized states that will count ballots after election day, but LaRose believes it’s critical.
“If it’s took close to call then I’m going to be clear the people of Ohio are speaking and they’re not done yet,” LaRose said Tuesday. “The boards of election, what they are never going to do is sacrifice accuracy for speed. They are going to make sure every legally cast ballot is counted accurately.”
There were a couple of morning hiccups in the state, however.
Voters saw delays in the state’s most populous metro when voters in Franklin County, home to Columbus, had to be checked in with paper backup poll books instead of electronically when the electronic check-in system went down.
LaRose also said a driver crashed her SUV into part of church that was being used as a polling location about 9 a.m. on Tuesday. LaRose said voting continued and the woman was OK following the accident. She was able to cast her ballot after the crash, LaRose said.
An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher. Davidson is a regional editor for The Center Square.