All-local election Tuesday called most important ‘because they can affect you directly’

Victoria Mohr looks over her ballot while early voting Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021 at the Board of Elections. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
Victoria Mohr looks over her ballot while early voting Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021 at the Board of Elections. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Election Day is Tuesday, but time has passed for those who wanted to vote early in-person.

County boards of elections were open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday for the final hours of in-person early voting. Mailed absentee ballots must be postmarked by Monday to be counted, according to local election officials. Voters cannot bring an absentee ballot to the polls, but absentee ballots can be dropped off at the county board of elections office on Election Day.

This year is the most local of elections, as we choose mayors, city councils, school boards and township trustees, as well deciding on local tax levies.

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County boards of elections say they expect a lower turnout this election, because there are no high-profile national and state races. But many local elections officials said these are the most important issues.

“We would consider them the most important for the individual because they can affect you directly,” said Jeff Rezabek, director of the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

Whether it’s a school issue, a zoning issue for the neighborhood or a tax issue that affects spending, Rezabek said these are all important issues.

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Polls open Tuesday at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. Some form of ID is required to vote, whether it’s an electric bill, military ID, driver’s license, bank statement, paycheck or other government document.

Some counties say they are short on poll workers. Warren County Board of Elections director Brian Sleeth said the board of elections is going into the election short about 40 poll workers, and specifically short of Democratic poll workers, since the county is majority Republican. Poll workers must be a resident of the county in which they plan to serve.

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Rezabek said the voting system in Montgomery County is secure, and voter fraud is something the Board of Elections takes seriously.

“We have no concerns at this time,” he said. “But we are ever-vigilant to make sure that if any of those issues arise, we can address it.”

Voter registration in Ohio closed on Oct. 4.

Miami County Board of Elections Deputy Director Ian Ridgeway said people who show up to vote but aren’t registered properly can be given a provisional ballot that will go through a verification process.

While votes from unregistered people won’t be counted, Ridgeway said those provisional ballots also work as a registration, so that person would then be registered to vote in the next election.

Rezabek said the Montgomery County Board of Elections has seen a “steady increase” in the number of people who are early voting.

“We would always hope that it’d be more, that the voters would get out there,” Rezabek said.

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