On vacation in August? Vote early or by mail to make your voice heard

Mid-summer special elections in Ohio have historically seen low voter turnout, as vacations, outdoor activities, and the infrequent scheduling of August elections combine to reduce voter participation.

But voters have multiple ways to cast their ballots that don’t require showing up at the polls on election day, Aug. 8.

Any voter can vote-by-mail or vote at the County Board of Elections office in downtown Cleveland during the month-long early voting period. Early voting for this year’s August special election will begin Monday, July 11, and will continue on weekdays from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. until Friday, July 28. During the final week before the election, from July 31 through Aug. 4, voting hours will be extended and voters can also vote early on Saturday, Aug 5, and Sunday, Aug. 6. Early voting is conducted at the Board of Elections offices at 2925 Euclid Avenue in downtown Cleveland.

Voters can also vote by mail by requesting that a ballot be mailed to their home or to any other location where they might be located during the voting period. In the November 2022 general election, 36 percent of Cuyahoga County voters voted by mail or voted early in person at the BOE office.

Voting by mail is relatively simple, but does require some time, so voters who want to vote from home should request their ballot as soon as possible.

The first step for voters is to request an application for a vote-by-mail ballot through the County BOE website (www.443vote.us) or the Ohio Secretary of State’s website (VoteOhio.gov). Voters who do not have access to a computer may call the Cuyahoga County BOE at 216-443-8683 for assistance.

Voters may print a blank application from the BOE website or they may request that an application be sent to them. Either way, when voters receive their application, they must correctly fill out all five sections, including name and address, date of birth, identification, the election they wish to vote in, and signature. Completed applications must be returned to the BOE by mail or may be dropped off at the BOE office downtown.

Voters should make sure to mark the box labeled “special election” in section 4 and enter the month and year of the election (August 2023). If any fields are not completed correctly on the application the BOE will send the voter a letter explaining the error along with a new application which the voter can complete and return.

To receive a ballot, correctly completed applications must be received by the BOE by 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 1.

When the correctly completed application is received, the BOE will send a ballot package to the voter. The package will include a ballot, an identification envelope, and a return envelope. The completed ballot should be sealed in the identification envelope and then mailed back to the BOE in the return envelope. Ballots will be mailed to voters beginning July 11.

Voted ballots must be postmarked no later than the day before election day and must be received by the BOE no later than four days after the election. Completed ballots may also be turned in at the dropbox at BOE offices until the close of voting on election day.


Walter Topp is a resident of Bay Village.

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 9:20 AM, 07.05.2023