DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Workers at Miami Valley boards of elections are preparing for voters to head to the polls in just a few months for an August special election.
Just a few months ago, Montgomery County Board of Elections Director Jeff Rezabek said he and his team were not anticipating they would be in this situation.
He said that’s because a bill passed in the statehouse last year limits the reasons why Ohio can hold an August special election.
However, this will be the second year in a row with an August election for county boards of elections.
“We have now — have done here in Montgomery County — seven consecutive countywide elections,” Rezabek said. “Three last year, we will have three this year, that is a lot of strain on the system.”
Rezabek said it typically takes 90 to 100 days to prepare for an election, and his team was already preparing for November.
Miami County Board of Elections Director Laura Bruns said elections workers will have a tighter turnaround to pull off both the August and November elections, raising concerns about burnout.
“It does create a lot of extra work and a lot of extra hours that we have to spend here rather than maybe taking a vacation this summer or, you know, spending time doing family things,” Bruns said.
Boards of elections have already been reaching out to polling locations and poll workers. Some voters may receive postcards in the mail closer to election day with temporary precinct changes because their usual location is not available on August 8.
Voters will head to the polls to decide if Ohio should raise the number of votes it takes to make changes to the state constitution from a simple majority to 60%.
Rezabek said that he’s anticipating higher voter turnout because of the importance of this issue for many people in Ohio.
“Could be as high as 30%,” Rezabek said. “We’re looking at that is the energy that was you saw on the House floor, I think is translating not only on the political side, as you said to the general public. I think a lot of money will be coming into the state from both sides.”
There is currently a lawsuit challenging the August special election and another challenging the ballot language.