Jeff Rezabek, director of the BOE, said with early, in-person voting coming to an end, the next best way to cast your ballot if you don’t plan on voting Tuesday is with your absentee ballot.
“It has to be postmarked by today (November 1) if they do it by mail. If they have that absentee ballot and can’t get it postmarked by today, then they have the opportunity to bring it down to the Board of Elections during our hours.”
In order to be counted, those absentee ballots must be submitted by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. Rezabek said voters should be aware that mail-in ballots cannot be submitted at precincts, but they can be dropped off in the office or at one of the two drop boxes available to voters.
“One is inside the building…and also the back between the administration building and I-75 there’s a small road that goes right behind us. There’s a drop box right there. There are two blue boxes next to it–those are for paying bills. Ours is a large cream/white colored box. It says ‘elections’ all over it.”
Registered voters who are considering sitting out of the election due to COVID-19 symptoms or a disability can also vote without getting out of their vehicles on Election Day. “If you happen to be handicapped where you can’t get into your polling location or you have symptoms of COVID or have tested positive, we have curbside voting for you,” said Rezabek. “When you pull up, there’s a sign that’s got a phone number. You would tell the polling location that you’re there for curbside voting.”
Rezabek said the office and poll workers are asking the public to use that option only if they are truly unable to get into the building or have symptoms that could expose others to COVID-19. The relatively time-consuming process would include having a bipartisan team collect information from occupants of the vehicles, retrieving and submitting ballots for voters, then securing the ballots in a safe location. And while some people are referring to the upcoming election as an “off-year” election, Rezabek said the Board of Elections considers every voting day a critical piece of democracy.
“We have 91 races out there, 43 of those are contested, you have 244 candidates but 165 are in contested races. These are the individuals that you see at your grocery store, at your school board meetings, at your kids’ baseball or soccer games, as well as there’s 16 issues out there. All those affect your pocketbook. These are really important elections so we encourage the voters to get out there.”
Early, in-person voting ended Monday at 2 p.m. in counties across Ohio. Voting on Election Day will begin at 6:30 a.m. and last until 7:30 p.m. Rezabek the election is expected to be certified on November 23.
For more information about early, absentee, and in-person voting, click here.