Ohio elections chief, US Senate candidate cast early ballots

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted drops off his ballot at the Franklin County Board of Elections Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, in Columbus, Ohio. A battle of the ground games will mark the final days before the election in swing state Ohio, where groups on the political right and left are making all-out efforts to get voters to the polls. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s elections chief and one of the state’s candidates for U.S. Senate have both cast ballots ahead of Election Day.

Early voting is underway in the presidential battleground. Ohioans can vote absentee by mail or in person for the Nov. 8 election.

Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted dropped off his absentee ballot Thursday at the Franklin County Board of Elections in Columbus. That’s also where Democrat Ted Strickland voted early in person Thursday.

Strickland is challenging Republican incumbent Sen. Rob Portman.

Husted’s office says more than 1.4 million absentee ballots have been requested so far and nearly 500,000 have been cast.

Voters can still request an absentee ballot. Elections boards must receive such applications by noon on Nov. 5. Completed absentee ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 7.

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