Ohio Secretary of State encouraging absentee voting
Frank LaRose anticipates November election will be the highest voter turnout in Ohio history
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose says despite concerns and social media rumors, the November 3 election will go on as planned. Voters in Ohio will have the option of voting early, absentee or in-person on election day.
LaRose is anticipating the 2020 Presidential election will bring the highest voter turnout in Ohio’s history. That prediction coupled with COVID-19 has LaRose urging voters to consider casting an absentee ballot.
On Wednesday, he explained that there are multiple levels of security in place to protect votes, regardless of how you decide to vote. For those choosing absentee, there is a 2-step authentication process. Voters can drop their ballots the ballot in the mailbox, or if they do not want to send the information through the U.S. Postal Service, each of Ohio’s 88 counties will be required to have a dropbox for ballots outside of the county board of elections office.
The Secretary of State acknowledged the current slow down with the USPS and is asking everyone who wants to vote absentee request a ballot well ahead of the deadline and make sure it is postmarked as soon as possible. Under current election laws, all absentee ballots must be postmarked by November 2. In order for the vote to count, they must arrive at the local Board of Elections office within 10 days. LaRose says in the past that was never a problem but due to the current slowdown and COVID-19 it could cause an issue. Voters can also track their ballot once it is scanned in at the post office by going here.
As for COVID-19, all county board of elections offices received a 48-point health and safety directive outlining what poll workers should be doing to keep the voting experience safe for everyone. Some of the highlights include cleaning schedules for machines and poll books, social distancing requirements, offering curbside voting and expanding it as necessary, requiring poll workers to wear masks and posting signs for voters to wear them as well.
LaRose stopped short of saying masks are required but if you refuse to wear one inside a polling location, be prepared to be asked to vote curbside. LaRose says ultimately no one will be denied the right to vote but he is asking everyone to avoid making poll workers police masks.
“Walking into a polling place without a mask is rude. You should not be doing it and if you choose to we will let you cast your ballot and send you on your way,” says LaRose.
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