Voter registration in Ohio closed yesterday and Jennifer Brunner, Ohio's Secretary of State, released a new registered voter file compiled at 8:19pm last night.
A quick review shows that there are now 8,162,815 voters registered in Ohio, up 100,000 from two weeks ago. This is up 183,185 voters compared to the 2004 Bush/Kerry election, with the majority of the increase coming from counties that went for Bush in 2004. In comparison, the registered voter count increased by almost 450,000 from 2000 to 2004, with the vast majority coming in the Kerry counties.
This is not a typo.
Kerry won 16 counties in 2004: Ashtabula, Athens, Belmont, Cuyahoga, Erie, Franklin, Jefferson, Lorain, Lucas, Mahoning, Monroe, Montgomery, Portage, Stark, Summit, Trumbull. Bush won the remaining 72.
In 2004, the Kerry counties had 4,093,761 registered voters. In 2008 they have 4,152,087, up almost 60,000.
In 2004, the Bush counties had 3,885,869 registered voters. In 2008 they have 4,010,728, up over 120,000.
On the surface, this would appear to be good news for McCain. However there are indications that this may not be the case.
First, several Kerry counties cleaned up their registered voter lists, purging what appears to be almost 400,000 voters from the lists. The good news is that this eliminated 400,000 potential cases of voter fraud. The bad news for McCain is that this masks 400,000 new registered voters in Gore counties.
Second, Obama has made an all out effort to register voters in all counties in Ohio, opening 72 campaign offices throughout the state. It is likely that many of the new registrations in Bush counties are Obama supporters. It is unclear at this time, however, how many are.
As I have time, I will do a lot more analysis on the new voters who registered in 2008.
UPDATE: Originally, I inadvertently referred to the 2004 election as Bush/Gore instead of Bush/Kerry in my original post and I have corrected it. I have previous posts comparing the results of the 2000 Bush/Gore election to the 2004 Bush/Kerry election and typed up this summary quickly w/ two kids crawling all over me. Sorry for the confusion. I have corrected this post to correctly refer to the 2004 Bush/Kerry counts.
UPDATE 2: A new file with 8.23M registered voters is now available.