Voters in Champaign County and around Ohio turned out in robust numbers on Tuesday and in the days leading up to the election.
Early voting tallies of local absentee ballots totalled 4,508 as of Monday evening, according to the Champaign County Board of Elections website. Of those 4,508 ballots, 2,503 were cast by non-partisan voters, 1,386 were cast by registered Republicans, 607 were cast by registered Democrats and 12 were cast by registered Green Party members.
Election Day itself was also busy as locals showed up to vote in person on a large slate of local taxation issues and other races.
Before or after heading to the polls, many local voters enjoyed the tradition of election day meals offered by local churches.
Westville United Methodist Church hosted its annual Election Day oyster meal from 4 to 7 p.m. The menu included the traditional oysters, escalloped chicken, veggies, salads and homemade desserts. The church’s kitchen was bustling with activity as volunteers prepared for the dinner crowd.
Cable United Methodist Church had an election dinner for a donation from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. and from 4 p.m. until food was gone. The meal consisted of chicken or beef noodles, mashed potatoes, green beans, coleslaw, applesauce and pie.
Oak Grove Mennonite Church offered an eat-in/carry out for donations only, including veggie beef soup, chili, shredded chicken sandwiches, sloppy joes, hot dogs, chili dogs, homemade pies and beverages.
The church dinners are a popular social draw in their communities and provide locals a chance to gather and reunite in fellowship tradition.