COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — If you aren’t registered to vote already, April 4 is the final day to register ahead of the upcoming election.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding Ohio’s primary, the state is ready to move forward with early voting on Tuesday, ahead of what is likely to be only the first of two primary elections in Ohio.
“It appears, you know 99.9%, that there’s going to be two elections. One on May 3, and a second at a date yet to be determined,” admits Aaron Sellers with the Franklin County Board of Elections.
On Monday morning, poll workers at the Board of Elections were already entering ballots into their electronic machines.
“On the ballot for this cycle, there will not be anything from the General Assembly,” Sellers describes. “So, you won’t see any Ohio House, Ohio Senate, or State Central Committee seats. They will not be on this ballot.”
Despite the state’s unresolved legislative maps, elections officials are preparing for this election like any other.
“Maybe 20 percent-ish? But you know we basically base it off of past cycles,” says Sellers of his turnout expectations for this race in particular.
Roughly 18% of Franklin County voters turned out for the Gubernatorial Primary in 2018.
With early voting beginning on Tuesday, officials say COVID-19 has changed the way many choose to vote.
“Generally, I think absentee voting is in about the 40-percentile, so it’s not quite half voters,” Sellers reflects. “It’s certainly become more popular through the years.”
But for in-person voters, officials expect this election to feel more “Normal” than year’s past.
“We will have some supplies, some hand sanitizer. We’ll continue to wipe down machines and keep them as clean as possible,” details Sellers.
Voters have until the end of the day Monday to register.
Officials say registering online with these items is the quickest way to do so.
To register online, voters will need their Ohio driver’s license or I.D. card, their name, address, date of birth, and the last four digits of their social security number.
And as the redistricting saga continues, elections officials encourage anyone feeling confused — to simply ask.
“If you’ve got questions, come to use. Come to the source,” Sellers pleas.
The Franklin County Board of Elections can be reached at: 614-525-3100 or vote.franklincountyohio.gov.
Sellers says the Secretary of State’s website is also a good resource for voters.
Again, early voting officially begins Tuesday. The Board of Elections will be open to voters from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.