Ohio voter guide: Early voting and poll workers needed

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CLEVELAND (WJW) – We’re less than a week away from the presidential election. While you consider the candidates and issues, here’s how to make sure your voice is heard on Nov. 3.

First off, there is a need for poll workers.

Poll workers can be trained through November 2, so it is not too late to participate if you are interested.

Since poll workers tend to be older residents, many are not participating this Election Day because of the coronavirus pandemic. Without enough poll workers, some boards of elections will have to consolidate voting locations, resulting in longer lines.

Cuyahoga County is urging companies to allow employees to take the day off in order to work at polling places and the state of Ohio is encouraging high school students to sign up. In Cuyahoga County, you can make up to $275 for working as a precinct election official.

Important dates:

  • You had to register to vote by Oct. 5
  • Early in-person voting: Began Oct. 6 and goes until Nov. 2
  • Request a vote-by-mail/absentee ballot: Received by noon on Oct. 31
  • Mail your ballot: Postmarked on or before Nov. 2
  • Election Day: Nov. 3

Vote by mail:

All Ohio voters whose registration information is up to date can vote by mail.

Complete a vote-by-mail ballot application through your county’s board of elections, mail the application back, wait for your ballot in the mail and return the ballot.

Applications to vote by mail must be received by noon on the Saturday before Election Day. Ballots must be returned to the board of elections by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day if delivered in person or postmarked by the day before Election Day and received by the board of elections no later than 10 days after the election.

Voting in-person:

You’ll need to bring a valid form of identification, such as a valid Ohio driver’s license, military ID or current utility bill. Passports and Social Security cards are not acceptable.

Early in-person voting began Oct. 6 and runs through Nov. 2 at boards of elections. Hours vary by day. On Nov. 3, polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

If the polls close while you’re still in line, stay there because you can still vote. If you make a mistake on your ballot, ask a poll worker for a new one. If the machines are down at your polling place, ask for a paper ballot.

To request a vote-by-mail application and check in-person voting hours, visit your local board of elections’ website:

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