COLUMBUS (AP) — The state’s elections chief says Ohioans have requested nearly 172,000 absentee ballots so far, ahead of the May 8 primary election.

Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted says that’s more than the 155,000 absentee ballots requested at this point in 2014, when Ohio last elected statewide officeholders.

According to an informal survey of Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections, just over 63,000 Ohioans have cast early ballots so far. That’s down from the 73,000 people who had voted at this point four years ago.

Early voting is underway across the state. Ohioans can vote absentee by mail or in person.

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

Online: http://MyOhioVote.com/VoterToolkit