Local boards of elections prepare to move from one election to the next with less than 100 days until Nov. 8

Posted at 11:03 PM, Aug 02, 2022

CLEVELAND — During a regular election, the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections hires more than a hundred college kids to staff the warehouse on election night. The problem with an Aug. 2 election? The college kids aren’t back in town yet. Enter the Warrensville Heights High School Football team to the rescue.

“I thought it was a good idea for us to come, do some community service, some team bonding, some team building, so I took the offer,” said Head Coach Bronson Green.

Cuyahoga County Board of Elections Director Anthony Perlatti said the students got the dual lesson in civics and finance.

“Not only are they making money for themselves or for their organization or for their booster club, but they’re also involved in the election in some part,” Perlatti said.

And they’re going to need all the help they can get here at the board of elections going forward. Typically after a primary like this, they'd have six months to get ready for the November election. This year they'll have half that.

“We’re just finishing this one and we’re already started on the next one,” Perlatti said. “Already today we sent out notices to the polling locations that we want to have for November to try to get those locked in. Before you know it, Sept. 9, we’re going to be training poll workers and before we do that we’re going to have to hire them.”

Secretary of State Frank LaRose said they are also going to have to lock in the ballots once this night’s primary winners are certified.

"In a county like Cuyahoga, for example, there may be over a thousand different ballot types, each one of those has to get laid out and proofed,” said LaRose. "The Boards of Election need time to do that work, everything's gotten compressed this year."

What put them in this situation to begin with was the delay of the Redistricting Commission, which LaRose is a part of, to come up with court approved state legislative maps in time for the May primary. The Ohio Supreme Court, last month in a separate ruling, also ordered the commission to again redraw the Congressional district maps. Since the earliest those maps would be used is 2024, LaRose tells News 5 it doesn't make sense to do the redrawing now.

"At this point it would be confusing to set a whole new set of districts people would wonder you know is it this map or is it that map. I think that confusion should be avoided. I think there will be a time for drawing new district lines and that will be next year,” LaRose said.