JEFFERSON — The calendar says more than a month remains before Election Day, but voters can start marking a ballot today in Jefferson. In-person voting is under way at the Ashtabula County Board of Election office, 8 W. Walnut St., Jefferson, giving residents yet another voting option for the Nov. 6 presidential race. People may vote in-person through Nov. 2.
A few weeks ago, the Ohio Secretary of State’s office established hours for in-person voting at county election boards. Ashtabula County’s board agreed to follow the state schedule, which is: Today through Oct. 19 (8 a.m.-5 p.m.) Oct. 22-Nov. 1 (8 a.m.-7 p.m.); Nov. 2 (8 a.m.-6 p.m.)
Most people who choose in-person voting at the election board office plan to be elsewhere on Election Day, but also don’t want to risk missing the postal delivery of their absentee ballot because of travel, Carol Lovas, board director, said Monday. “They don’t want to wait for it in the mail,” she said. Lovas anticipates a good crowd will visit the office and fill out their ballot. “I expect it will become more hectic next week,” she said.
In-person voting hours has been a contentious issue in recent months, with the office hours a point of legal debate.
Secretary of State Jon Husted issued the hours adopted by the county board several weeks ago.
“We’ll stick with the directive from Columbus,” Lovas said. “I think it gives (voters) plenty of time. If the hours should change, we’ll do what we have to do.”
Also today, election boards across the state will begin mailing out absentee ballots to voters who have requested them. The county election board has received around 5,400 requests so far. More than 920,000 requests have been received throughout Ohio, according to the SOS office.
Applications are still being accepted and are available on-line at www.electionsonthe.net.