With Election Day on Tuesday, over 85 million Americans have already voted according to the United States Election Project. Those who haven’t voted yet have a few voting options at their disposal.
Voting can be done both in person, early or day of election, or by mail. The Ohio deadline for an absentee ballot request was Saturday.
Once you decide on your method of voting you need to take into account how you’re going to actually do it, said Iris Meltzer, the president of League of Women Voters of Ohio.
“If you’re voting with an absentee ballot you need to know if you’re going to mail it in or take it to a dropbox. With in-person voting you need to know when you can get there, and how you’re going to get there,” Meltzer said.
Voters must vote at their assigned polling place if voting on Election Day.
“It is important to know where your polling place is; you don’t want to go where you’ve always voted just to find it has been moved,” Meltzer said. “Perhaps your polling place was a senior center and during the pandemic voting isn’t taking place in nursing homes or senior centers, so it’s important to know where you’re going and how you’re getting there.”
Not only is having a voting plan important, but voters should also consider having a backup plan, said Katia Rodriguez, the director of communication and marketing for Kent State’s Undergraduate Student Government.
“I voted with an absentee ballot. I knew I needed to make sure it was going to get here, and I made sure to track when it got counted as well,” Rodriguez said. “There is a lot of planning around it, and I made sure to have a backup plan just in case that didn’t work. I wanted to make sure my vote was counted, so if it didn’t I would still have time to do early voting.”
Absentee ballots can be tracked on the Ohio Secretary of State website.
Voters should take safety and comfort level into consideration, especially during the pandemic, Meltzer said.
“Polling places are really gearing up to make sure they’re really sanitized and safe. All poll workers will be masked, and all voters are being asked to wear masks,” Meltzer said. “Overall your voting plan is really about running through how you’re going to do it and what makes you feel safest.”
Kandra Hill is a teaching reporter. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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