COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) — With the general election less than two months away, elections officials in Ohio are turning to Cedar Point for advice on managing big crowds.
The amusement park has made significant adjustments for its 2020 season to accommodate guests and do so safely.
“For many years they have built a great reputation on managing lines and ques, and creating efficient ways to move people through their attractions,” said Secretary of State Frank LaRose.
He invited Cedar Point Vice President and General Manager Jason McClure to take part in a virtual meeting of the state’s election task force on Thursday.
“We have a lot of experience with people waiting in line, lots of times they are really excited to ride Millennium Force, so they don’t necessarily function the way they normally do. I’m sure everybody is going to be really excited to vote too, so when they show up to vote they are going to have some of those same kind of things in mind,” said McClure.
Even before going into the park, McClure says guests are met with signs that explain the requirement for social distancing and masks.
“Sometimes lines might look longer than they actually are because of everyone social distancing six feet apart, they will extend further but they will move quicker which is a good thing for people to know in advance,” explained McClure.
Elections officials suggested the option of placing signs showing expected wait times at points in lines so people can understand that they are moving efficiently.
They also mentioned policies used during the spring primary, including placing signs on the floor to help voters stay appropriately distanced.
LaRose also noted that the state expects a record number of absentee ballots to be submitted this fall. Millions of ballot applications are currently being sent to registered voters across the state of Ohio.
The requested ballots will not, by law, be sent until after October 6.
LaRose encourages those who want to vote but would like to do so as an absentee not to be discouraged by misleading rumors about the U.S. Mail.
“There has been some rumors out there circulating. I don’t know if somebody is doing this intentionally or they are just not informed but they have said, for example, if you provide a business reply envelope that it’s going to result in those not getting a post mark — false, 100-percent false,” said LaRose.
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