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Lucas County buys larger ballot box ahead of November election

The Board of Elections is anticipating more voters will drop off ballots by hand
Published: Aug. 19, 2020 at 10:14 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The preparation for the November is election is underway across the state. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many elections leaders are predicting that the number of voters choosing to cast an absentee ballot will increase.

In Lucas County, the Board of Elections is purchasing a new secure ballot drop box. There was one in place for the primary but it could only hold about 500 ballots or envelopes at a time. The new box is much larger, holding 3,600 envelopes at once.

Lucas County BOE Director, LaVera Scott says voters are using the box daily, already and it’s not even time for ballots to be coming back. From voter registration to absentee ballot applications, even campaign finance reports are being put in the secure box outside of One Government Center. Scott says the pandemic has people looking for ways to avoid crowds and indoor spaces.

In Ohio, each county elections board will be allowed to have one secure drop box for voters to hand deliver absentee ballots. It’s an option if you do not want to sent it in the mail. Some voters 13abc spoke with say they will be using the in-person drop box due to ongoing lag on delivery times with the USPS.

“I want to make sure my vote counts,” says one woman, who didn’t want to be identifed, dropping off her absentee ballot application today outside of One Gov.

Statewide, Ohio’s Secretary of State is predicting a massive jump in absentee voting. Frank LaRose anticipates it could hit 50% in the November Presidential Election.

According to the Lucas County Board of Elections, in the 2016 November Election, voter turnout was 68%. Of those voters, 16% voted absentee by mail and 10% voted early. Scott says her team is preparing and will be ready to help voters cast a ballot, early, using absentee by mail/drop-box or in-person on election day, November 3.

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