The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

September 28, 2013

Ashtabula County gears up for start of early voting

By MARK TODD - mtodd@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

JEFFERSON — Snowbirds and people eager to avoid crowds will welcome Tuesday’s start of early voting for the Nov. 5 general election.

“We’re ready to go,” Carol Lovas, director, said Friday. “Come in and vote.”

Beginning Oct. 1, voters can come to the election board office, 8 W. Walnut St., Jefferson, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday to fill out a ballot. The office will also be open 8 a.m.-noon on Nov. 2, the Saturday before Election Day.

Early voting is the increasingly popular alternative to visit a polling place on Election Day. Since the procedure is considered absentee voting, participants who come to the election board office fill out an application before they are given a ballot, Lovas said.

People can speed up their visit by having the application filled out before stepping into the election board office. Applications can be found at electionsonthe.net, the election board’s website. People may also request an absentee ballot be mailed to their address at the website.

Earlier this week, election officials said requests for absentee ballots was low. Business improved by the end of the week, Lovas said. “It’s starting to pick up,” she said.

This fall’s election features county, city and township races, as well as more than 40 issues, including a county charter government initiative. The election doesn’t have the sizzle of last year’s presidential race, meaning absentee numbers should be lower than 2012, Lovas said. Last year, 67.6 percent of the county’s 66,651 registered voters participated in the presidential election, according to records.