GALLIPOLIS — Early in-person voting began in Ohio on Tuesday with a steady stream of people visiting the Gallia County Board of Elections Office to cast their ballots ahead of next month’s general election.
Dale B. Whitt, director of the board of elections, said as of 3 p.m., 180 voters had visited the Gallia County Courthouse to cast those ballots and he anticipated it was likely that number could reach 200 before the day was done.
In addition, Whitt reported as of Tuesday, 3,800 requests had been received by his office for absentee ballots and by law, those ballots from applicants could not begin to be mailed out to registered voters until yesterday (Tuesday).
With many voters choosing to cast absentee ballots due to concerns brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns of voter fraud have been a topic of conversation across the country.
Whitt said the State of Ohio and Gallia County have multiple safeguards in place, preventing a person from casting more than one ballot. For example in regards to absentee, all ballots are numbered and return envelopes are unique, among other procedures to assure not more than one ballot from one registered voter is counted.
“I think Ohio’s (elections) system is a strong and secure system,” Whitt said, adding he had “all the confidence in the world” in it.
As for those absentee ballots, they can be scanned into that secure system prior to election night but numbers will not be tallied, along with early voting numbers, until the polls close on Nov. 3.
Absentee ballots can be returned by mail or dropped off at the board of elections office. The last day for boards of election to receive mail-in ballots that have been postmarked on or before Nov. 2, is Friday, Nov. 13.
If interested in doing early in-person voting, visit the Gallia County Board of Elections Office on the second floor of the Gallia County Courthouse during the following business hours:
8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 7 – Friday, Oct. 9;
8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday, Oct. 12 – Friday, Oct. 16;
8 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday, Oct. 19 – Friday, Oct. 23;
8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 24;
1 p.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 25;
8 a.m. – 7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 26-Friday, Oct. 30;
8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 31;
1 p.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 1;
8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Monday, Nov. 2.
The polls for the general election will be open from 6:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 3. Absentee ballots can also be dropped off on Nov. 3 by 7:30 p.m. at the board of elections office.
There are approximately 19,000 registered voters in Gallia County.
Visit the Gallia County Board of Elections website for more information on when and how to vote, including voting early, whether in-person or absentee, at https://www.boe.ohio.gov/gallia/election-info/
© 2020 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.
Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing.