ASHLAND -- When polls opened Tuesday morning, 10,006 in-person voters -- a new record for early voting -- had already cast their ballots in Ashland County.
As voting continues Tuesday, Ashland County Board of Elections Director Shannon Johnson believes voter turnout in Ashland County could reach 83 percent, surpassing the former record of 81.44 percent in the 1992 general election, according to voter turnout data from November 1989 through present day.
"Now that early voting is over, voters need to realize they need to go to their polling location to cast their ballot," Johnson said. "The Board of Elections office will be open for provisional voting only."
However, absentee ballots can not be accepted at the polling locations, they need to be delivered to the BOE office or dropped in the drop box outside the building, located at 110 Cottage St., Suite 106, Ashland. Voters may drop their ballots into the box through 7:30 p.m. on election night.
Polling stations are open until 7:30 p.m. for in-person voting. Find your polling station by visiting boe.ashland.oh.gov.
As of Monday at 2 p.m., 92 percent of mail-in ballots had been returned.
How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting my polling station?
On election day, voters should expect COVID-19 related precautions at their polling locations.
Voters may need to enter the facility in a different way and should practice social distancing, which could cause longer lines to form.
Johnson suggests voters aim to cast their ballots during lower demand times such as mid-morning and afternoon, if possible. Those with greater flexibility in their schedules are encouraged to consider making a drive by to monitor lines.
The Board of Elections is asking all voters to wear a mask to protect poll workers. Disposable masks will be available for those who may need one.
There will be staff members in the area cleaning surfaces between every voter.
What if I requested an absentee ballot, but now I want to vote in-person?
If a voter has requested an absentee ballot and appears at their polling location on election day and wishes to vote, they may cast a provisional ballot at the BOE office, located at 110 Cottage St., Suite 106, Ashland.
Provisional ballots are cast by individuals who have not updated their information, moved, changed their name, been challenged, have no ID, or possess an ID that does not match what appears on the official registration list.
Learn more about provisional ballots here.
What if I plan to vote in-peson but don’t feel well or have been exposed to COVID-19?
If a voter is feeling ill or has been exposed to someone with COVID-19, they may request to curbside vote.
To curbside vote, the voter must appear at their polling location and call the Board of Elections office, where a volunteer will verify they are in the correct location and all information on file for that voter is up-to-date and accurate.
The Board of Elections will then call the polling location to inform the volunteers there of the necessity to assist a voter, who is waiting in his or her vehicle.
Workers have been instructed to assist the curbside voters in full PPE for their protection.
When and where can I find local election results?
Unofficial results from the Ashland County Board of Elections Office will be posted at boe.ashland.oh.gov beginning at approximately 7:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3.
The first set of results posted will reflect the mail-in and early voting numbers.
The board’s goal is to release the county’s unofficial totals by 9:30 p.m.
The board plans to certify results on Nov. 18. The official results will add the valid provisional ballots and the absentee ballots postmarked Nov. 2 and received by the Board of Elections by the tenth day after the election to the unofficial numbers released on election night.
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