GALLIPOLIS — Gallia Commissioners and Gallia Board of Election officials discussed recent legislation passed by the state during the commissioners’ Thursday meeting in the Gallia Courthouse.
According to Gallia Board of Elections Director Dale Whitt, Ohio will be extending its voting period to April 28 due to the COVID-19 outbreak and will receive votes by mail due to motions passed by the state legislature. Votes taken will be by paper absentee ballot and limited options will reportedly be allowed for in-person voting for those with disabilities. Voters can request an application for a ballot by calling the board of elections or printing an online application request from the Ohio Secretary of State’s website to then be sent to the Gallia Board of Elections. Once the application is received and processed, a ballot will be sent to the requester.
Postage will be funded by the board of elections for ballots. Absentee ballot requests though will require the resident to handle postage.
Commissioners and the board of elections officials discussed options for those who may wish to return there ballot to the courthouse in person. The officials are currently exploring options to place a locked document receptacle outside the front of the courthouse under surveillance.
Reportedly, registered voters who have not yet voted will receive a postcard with directions telling them how they may vote. Ballot requests must be made by April 25 at noon and the ballots themselves cannot be postmarked later than April 27.
For more information, visit voteohio.gov.
Commissioners expressed concern that multiple mailing processes and an April deadline may cause less voter participation instead of a June deadline like Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose originally proposed.
Among other business conducted, a Gallia Court of Common Pleas representative approached the commissioners for approval to apply for a remote technology grant from the Ohio Supreme Court. According to the meeting, the Ohio Supreme Court is making around $4 million available for county court systems to upgrade video conferencing technology and remote working initiatives to navigate around the challenges presented by the COVID-19 outbreak. Commissioners unanimously approved the request.
Dean Wright is a staff writer with Ohio Valley Publishing and can be reached at 740-446-2342.