Ohio law reduces voting time
Published: Friday, August 24, 2012
Updated: Friday, August 24, 2012 00:08
As the upcoming election approaches Tuesday, November 6, it is no secret that Ohio is going to play a very important role in the outcome. This past week, the Secretary of the
State of Ohio, Jon Husted announced that every county in Ohio will have uniform hours
for early voting, according to Deputy Press Secretary of the office of the Secretary of State, Alexis Zoldan.
There will be 230 hours of early voting offered beginning 35 days prior to the election.
Depending on the county, the recent announcement shifts when early voting occurs but does not necessarily reduce total early voting hours.
Absentee “mail” voting will also be accepted at that time, Zoldan said. The order given by Husted is effective by law, and it is required that the Board of Elections in the 88 counties of Ohio follow suit, according to Deputy Director of the Board of Elections in Butler County, Jocelyn Bucaro.
The hours are as follows: all polls will be open for voting between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays between Tuesday, October 2 and Friday, October 19. During the two weeks leading up to the election, they will be open between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.
An absentee ballot must to be postmarked by November 5 to be eligible.
“[This process] is all for uniformity,” Zoldan said on behalf of Husted.
This new schedule excludes weekends from the dates available for early voting, and according to Bucaro, the switch in schedule decreased the hours that the Butler County early voting polls would be open by six hours. Bucaro said she did not see this as a large problem.
Absentee voting is still an option for voters. Bucaro explained that it is not necessary to declare the reason as to which voters choose to vote early. Voters can either send a form to their Board of Elections, which returns a ballot that can be turned in personally or via mail.
Zoldan also emphasized how easy it is to vote in Ohio regardless of the shift in the early voting hours. For the first time in Ohio, Husted decided to send every registered voter an absentee ballot application.
Logan Dick, a senior Political Science major at Miami commented on the political dispute that has come from the loss of opportunity that voters have to get to the polls early.
“This is another example of how Ohio politics are among the most, if not the most, hotly contested and critically important in the nation,” Dick said. “Every vote counts, which is why each party feels so strongly about this issue. I believe that we need to not limit but grant greater access for people to vote; it absolutely should be accessible for everyone.”