Cuyahoga County Board of Elections chairman answers your election questions

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — It has been busy at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections (BOE) since early voting began on October 6.

The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections Headquarters on Euclid Avenue has averaged roughly 1,500 in-person voters a day.

That number doesn’t include the more than 32,000 mail-in ballots that have been personally dropped off at collection boxes across the street and in the BOE parking lot.

The numbers of people participating in the democratic process so far has been more than double from 2016.

“What you’ll be able to see is that it’s a big difference and it’s a positive difference,” said BOE Chairman Anthony Perlatti.

In a Facebook update Friday, Perlatti said they put every mail-in ballot through a bi-partisan five-point process to check and verify the ballot for acceptance

He says that’s the main reason why voters aren’t seeing their ballot pop up in the track my ballot tool immediately. Checking and double-checking each ballot takes time, especially with the large number of ballots being received.

“We have been receiving, over the past few days, 71 trays of mail each day. That’s a lot of mail to go through at one time — to work through all those steps and when we do that we have to update our records for the track my ballot process. What we will not do is cut any corners” Perlatti said.

He says the BOE has received tons of questions about the process of counting votes that are cast.

Vote by mail and early in-person votes are usually counted first and will be the first results you see on election night

If you have applied for a vote by mail ballot and then decide to do early in-person voting you can without a problem. However, no one will be able to vote more than once.

“If you appear at the Board of Elections office when you check-in we’ll see in our system that we gave you a vote by mail ballot. We will suspend that ballot and issue you a ballot on the spot which you will vote on and put it through the scanner,” Perlattii said. “And if by chance that you forget you voted and send in your vote by mail ballot anyways, we will have you marked as already voting and that ballot will be rejected.”

Overall Perlatti says they’ve been pleased with the turnout and the dedication of the staff to help voters cast the ballots.

The BOE hopes the next few weeks of voting will continue to go just as smoothly.

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