by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted
Labor Day marks the official end of summer and gives us an opportunity to celebrate the enduring American work ethic. It also means the election season is in full swing. This year, I am proud of the steps we are taking in each of the state’s 88 counties to ensure busy schedules won’t keep hard-working Ohioans from participating. In fact, starting on October 2, you can vote any hour of the day and without ever leaving your homes.
Just after the Labor Day holiday, registered voters should keep an eye out for an official absentee ballot application in the mail. This election marks the first time applications will be sent to all voters across the state. You’ll know it by the official Secretary of State seal and because it will have your name and address pre-printed, just as it appears in the voter file.
By simply completing the three security fields and mailing it back to your county board of elections in the envelope provided, you’ll be slated to receive your ballot in the mail. No juggling schedules. No waiting in line. Your kitchen table can be your voting booth and you’ll have more than 750 hours to complete your ballot at the time that works best for you.
Though many surrounding states don’t offer this method of voting, voting by mail has become increasingly popular in Ohio. It’s both convenient and secure. Completed ballots can be sealed and mailed back to be included in the Election Day tally, or, if you prefer, you can drop them off at your local board of elections (no later than Election Day on November 6, 2012).
If you are a voter that prefers going to the polls, there is also plenty of opportunity for you to cast a ballot both prior to, and on Election Day.
Starting October 2nd, all boards of elections will be open for voting Monday through Friday, including extended hours on October 9 (until 9 pm) and until 7 pm during the last two weeks before the election to accommodate working schedules. This provides for a total of 230 hours of voting time prior before Election Day. You can find a complete schedule online at www.MyOhioVote.com. And let’s not forget about Election Day itself, when polls will be open between 6:30 am and 7:30 pm like always.
This Labor Day, jobs are the number one issue on the minds of Ohio voters. We have important choices to make on the individuals who will best lead us to economic prosperity. In the meantime, my job is to make the voting process for electing those leaders uniform, accessible, fair and secure for all Ohioans. Learn more at www.MyOhioVote.com.