Ohio orders relocation of voting locations out of nursing homes due to coronavirus concerns

Frank LaRose
Posted at 11:11 AM, Mar 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-10 14:02:40-04

CLEVELAND — Ohio’s Secretary of State Frank LaRose held a press conference Tuesday morning announcing the state’s measures heading into election day amid the coronavirus outbreak and the three positive COVID-19 cases in Cuyahoga County announced Monday.

LaRose ordered all 88 counties across Ohio to relocate all polling locations at nursing homes and senior residential facilities, which he said is around 125 total polling locations.

With Primary Election day in Ohio on March 17, just a week away, state officials said they are taking every step possible to notify all Ohioans of their new polling locations if they were originally slated to vote at a nursing home or senior residential facility.

LaRose said state officials will use media outlets, voting advocacy groups, social media and the state’s website to keep residents informed of the voting changes.

Schools will still house polling locations. Local school districts will have the ability to make the decision to cancel instruction for students on election day, LaRose said.

Relocated polling locations will continue to be updated as election day approaches. To check the status of your polling location, click here.

In addition to relocating polling locations out of nursing homes and senior residential facilities, state officials are ensuring best practices are being implemented at the polls to ensure sanitary and healthy voting conditions.

LaRose said the Ohio Department of Administrative Services and state officials are working together to ensure supplies, including hand sanitizer, wipes, and other sanitation products, are available at every polling location across Ohio. The state will make funding available if need be to ensure there are enough supplies and materials to keep everything clean and sanitized, according to LaRose.

The state and health officials encouraged those most at risk, including senior citizens and those with preexisting health conditions, to take advantage of the ability to vote from home and participate in early voting.

Although election day is just a week away, there is still time to print the early voting ballots and send votes in through the mail. All early voting ballots must be postmarked by March 16 or dropped off at a Board of Elections facility on election day. LaRose ordered all 88 counties across Ohio to implement a curbside ballot drop off on election day outside of every Board of Election location.

More information on early voting in-person and absentee voting by mail in Ohio can be found here.

LaRose said workers are still needed for election day and encouraged healthy individuals to sign up to be a poll worker. Poll workers are compensated for their time and still have time to be trained and prepared for their role on election day.

To sign up to be a poll worker, click here.

Watch the entire press conference in the player below:

RELATED: Ohio's 3 coronavirus cases are in Cuyahoga County; Gov. DeWine declares state of emergency

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