Data released by the Ohio secretary of state on Wednesday indicates that the state Republican Party attracted more than 115,000 Democratic voters during the primary in March.
Jon Husted, the Ohio secretary of state, announced that the count of Democrats who chose to affiliate with the Republican Party in the March primary was more than three times the number of Republicans who chose to affiliate with the Democratic Party.
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"Voter turnout is driven by the enthusiasm and interest that groups and candidates can generate for their cause," Husted, a Republican, said in a statement Wednesday. "Nearly 1.8 million Ohioans decided to join or switch a political party, highlighting the intensity with which Ohioans are engaging this election season."
Specifically, 34,867 voters who previously affiliated with the Republican Party cast votes in the Democratic primary, accounting for nearly 3 percent of the 1,197,725 primary ballots cast. Meanwhile, 115,762 voters previously affiliated with the Democratic Party cast ballots in the Republican primary, representing nearly 6 percent of the 1,952,684 primary votes.
The Ohio GOP, therefore, attracted more than 750,000 primary voters than the Democratic Party in their respective primaries.
Additionally, the Democratic Party attracted 710,067 previously unaffiliated voters, while the Republican Party attracted 910,131 of these voters.
Both primaries took place on March 15, yielding victories for Democrat Hillary Clinton and the state’s Republican Gov. John Kasich. Clinton is expected to be the Democratic nominee despite a continued challenge from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.). Kasich has since dropped out of the race, leaving business mogul Donald Trump as the presumptive GOP nominee.
Voters in Ohio become affiliated with a party by casting a ballot in the party’s respective primary, as opposed to registering with a particular political party. In order to remain "unaffiliated," voters must request an "issues-only" ballot.