CLEVELAND — Early in-person voting in Ohio kicks off Tuesday morning at 8 a.m., but the deadline to make sure your vote counts come November ends Monday night.
The board of elections in Cuyahoga and Lake counties are among those across the state working until 9 p.m. to help get folks registered to vote. Close to eight million Ohioans have already registered as of Friday, according to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose.
“We've never seen that number in the state of Ohio and we may pass over that number and that would be a great thing,” LaRose said.
LaRose ensured Ohio is ready for the election saying, “It's easy to vote in Ohio. Anybody that tells you it's not easy to vote is simply not telling the truth.”
Now, board of elections teams across the state working late Monday night to make that reality. Between voter registration and early voting, Lake County Director of Elections Ross McDonald said his team of 50 is gearing up for what he said will ultimately be a mass gathering.
“Our team really is going to just focus on making sure that our systems are functioning properly, making sure that the environment is set up to follow the social distancing protocols,” he explained. “We have really done our best to try to keep everyone is safe. We purchased a roping system to allow us to get as many voters in the building as safely as possible.”
McDonald said voters will see floor markers to ensuring six-feet distancing. Over the weekend, he said two 20x40 party tents were installed outside their building to help with overflow.
“We know that there will be moments where we’ll have to have voters outdoors, but at least we can provide some sort of structure or cover for them to keep them out of the elements,” McDonald said.
But the work doesn’t stop there.
The Lake County Board of Elections is set to send out 48,000 absentee ballots to those county residents opting to vote by mail.
“Lake County is going to see a record number of ballots going out for the first mailing,” McDonald said. “We’re excited. We know from other states that have already started early voting that voters are ready to go. They’re ready to vote and have their voices heard here in 2020.”
If you’re casting an early vote, you will need some form of government issued ID to vote. For information on how to register and details on what you need before heading to the polls, click here.