Ohio election officials prepare for November election
The November election is less than five months away and Ohio's Secretary of State is urging local Boards of Elections to prepare now.
Ohio has a "Ready for November" task force. Today the group held another virtual meeting talking about current preparations, pending legislation and the challenges that local BOEs could face in November due to COVID-19.
One challenge could be polling locations. Some counties use nursing homes to host voters but due to the virus that is no longer advised. In Lucas County, there were 2 out of 132 at assisted living facilities.
Director Lavera Scott says they have already been moved and now the Lucas County Board of Elections is preparing to send out letter to the additional 130 locations, making sure they are still willing to host voters on November 3rd.
After holding a primary via absentee, Scott says her team had some practice processing those results but if the number of people voting absentee jumps significantly, it will cost the county.
Scott says they will need additional supplies like a paper folder and a metered postage stamp to help speed up the process.
LaRose anticipates that absentee voting could be anywhere from 40-50% during the November election. Typically, 20-30% of voters use absentee ballots.
This is a presidential year so historically voter turnout is always higher and Scott says they are doing everything they can to secure polling locations and poll workers now.
Two election bills are still pending in the Ohio Legislature. If passed, one would allow voters to request an absentee ballot online.