Clintonville couple distributes absentee ballot forms from their front yard

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Voter registration work is nothing new for Bob and Ann Shelly. But doing it on the front lawn of their Clintonville home is.

“We have a friend who’s a realtor and she found us the boxes,” Bob Shelly said. “Anybody who wants registration or absentee ballot forms is welcome to them.”

They’ve been amazed at how many people have stopped to pick up one of the forms.

“The first couple of weeks we had that up I was refilling the boxes either once or twice a day depending on the amount of foot traffic,” Bob said. 

They’re not alone. The Ohio Voters Rights Coalition including Common Cause Ohio is helping to coordinate an effort to put boxes with voter forms in various neighborhoods.

“People will be driving by and then I’ve watched them go up and turn around and come back and stop and get out and get a form,” said Ann Shelly. “The goal is to get as many people registered and as many people voting as we possibly can.”

Hilliard resident Tiffany Rumbalski put a sign and a box with forms in her front yard this week.

“The normal things that I would participate in, voter registration drives, are upended because of the pandemic,” Rumbalski said. “This is a way for me and other people who want to share voting information to get the word out but at a distance.”

Ann Shelly says while their yard signs reveal their Democratic leanings, their primary goal is to get people out to vote.

“It’s just nice knowing you’re doing something especially in a year when we can’t do the kinds of things we would normally be doing for the election,” she said.

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