Early voting steady, absentee ballots up


By Anna DeWine

adewine@civitasmedia.com

XENIA — As of Wednesday, 6,066 Greene County residents have casted their votes in person for the general election.

This compares to the 2012 election, in which a total of 13,393 residents voted early.

“I would say we are running even or a bit below our early voting totals,” Llyn McCoy, Deputy Director of Greene County Board of Elections said.

The amount of early voters still means lines at the Greene County Board of Elections, located at 551 Ledbetter Road. Wait time, McCoy says, currently varies between 15-45 minutes, although some days see more voter traffic than others.

Monday through Wednesday of this week saw 600-700 voters per day. Staff is processing one voter per minute.

Absentee ballot by mail numbers are up, though, McCoy said, compared to the last presidential election. In 2012, 14,223 people voted absentee by mail. This year, there are 16,181 absentee by mail voters.

This comes after an announcement by Secretary of State Jon Husted on Friday, Oct. 14, that 1.2 million absentee ballots had been requested statewide so far. The by-the-numbers report included the fact that 7.7 million Ohioans are registered to vote.

According to Husted’s office, absentee ballot applications must be received by the board of elections by noon on Saturday, Nov. 5. In order to be counted, completed absentee ballots must be postmarked by the day before the election and arrive at the Board of Elections within 10 days of Election Day. Ohio is one of 12 states allowing late-arriving ballots to be counted.

Ohio is also one of 30-some states that does not allow voters to take selfies with their completed ballots. Although technically illegal, the law isn’t being strictly enforced.

On Tuesday, new legislation was introduced to the House of Representatives to ammend the Ohio Revised Code voting regulations. House Bill 609 would allow voters to take pictures of themselves with their ballots and their vote-picks. It would still remain illegal to take photos of other people’s ballots.

“I don’t think we have had any issues with a voter wanting to take a ballot selfie,” McCoy said.

The board of elections is open for early voting 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, 1-5 p.m. Sundays, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. the day before Election Day.

Polls will be open on Election Day between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Contact the Greene County Board of Elections to find polling places and precincts.

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Reach Anna DeWine at 937-502-4498.

Reach Anna DeWine at 937-502-4498.

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