We are going to send vans around during Golden Week Tuesday October 2, Wednesday October 3, Thursday October 4, Friday October 5, and then Tuesday October 9 between 9 and 5 p.m. We will have a van available to stop at the shelters and take people to the Board of Elections to vote and/or change their address.
A couple of other questions came up this week from the social service community:
ID law: What if the address on their ID does not match the voter’s current address? The purpose of showing ID is to verify that the person requesting a vote is the same person on the voter roles. If you are providing mail from a government entity or utility those would have to match the address in the poll book. But a picture ID must verify that you are who you say you are. It does not have to have the same address as you are voting at, but the Date of Birth and name should match the information in the poll book. This is often messed up by poll workers who will misunderstand the ID provision and make the person vote with a provisional ballot. Again, we do not recommend that people who are experiencing homelessness vote in person on election day because of the ID provisions and the poll worker error problems. It is much easier to vote by mail and voting in person at the board of elections because you will not need to show ID.
Will my early vote count the same as voting in person on election day? Yes, early voting is the same as voting in person. As soon as the polls close on election day, the board of elections totals the early votes. This includes the voting by mail and those who voted at the Board of Elections early. As long as your ballot is accepted because all the envelopes are filled out correctly, your vote will count exactly like the vote you cast on election day at a precinct.
Vote by mail applications: This week everyone registered to vote in Ohio will get an application to vote by mail in the US mail. If you did not receive a form or your clients did not receive a form then something is probably messed up with your or their registration. You can call the board of elections if you do not get an application by next week September 12. Call 216-443-3298 to get more information on your registration and the vote by mail process. Remember that voting by mail you will have to pay for the postage to request a ballot by mail and then you have to pay to send in your ballot. If you vote early at the main board of elections office you do not have to pay for the postage.
Court room victory!!! In case you did not see, those advocating for greater access to voting won another victory in Ohio. The current Secretary of State was told by a federal court that they must open for every voter the weekend before the election. It is likely that early voting will be available on Saturday November 3, Sunday November 4 and Monday November 5 before the election. The court found that if the state was going to offer this service to active duty military then they must offer it to all Ohioans. Husted has refused to issue this directive by the court’s deadline, so we don’t know the exact hours, but we will send those along.