Printing issue affects some Clark County ballots

A small number of voters in Clark County have reported problems with absentee ballots mailed to them as there appears to be a printing issue.

Amber Lopez, the deputy director for the Clark County Board of Elections, said the problem seems to only be with a small batch of ballots that were recently mailed.

Lopez said the ink on those ballots are either smudged or smudgeable making it hard for those voters to read them. She said that as of Friday morning, her office has received four complaints.

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“We are trying to figure out the scope of the problem. But, we do not think it is a wide-spread issue. We want to let voters know what their options are if they get a ballot like that,” she added.

Local election officials said that the printing issue only affected one batch of ballots. Early voting for November’s general election began Tuesday and absentee ballots started to be mailed to voters at that time.

Lopez said they believe that at most 200 ballots could be affected out of nearly 20,000 that have been sent this week.

Lopez said voters who have received a ballot in that condition are asked to call the local Board of Elections at 937-521-2120 to have another ballot mailed to them.

She said that those voters can take their ballot to the county’s Early Vote Center at the Turner Studio Theatre at 300 S. Fountain Ave. She said voters can either vote in-person there or receive a new ballot that they can submit at a later date.

The ballots that have been reported so far were sent out during the initial mailing of ballots on Tuesday. So far, a total of 2,418 ballots have been cast in Clark County for this year’s general election.

Local election officials say they are expecting an uptick in absentee voting. They saw nearly double the turnout of voters during the first day of early voting than during the same day for the 2016 Presidential Election.

Lopez said her office saw a total of 23,134 absentee ballots being submitted during the entirety of that election in 2016. She said the uptick in that type of voting this year is due, in part, to the coronavirus pandemic.

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More people are expected to vote by mail this year or cast a vote in-person before election day on Nov. 3.

An expected uptick in those voters as well as concerns related to social distancing prompted Clark County’s Board of Elections to move its Early Voting Center for this election.

That location was moved from their office on East Main Street to the Turner Studio Theater at the Clark State Performing Arts Center.

When and where you can vote early in person

Early in-person voting hours are uniform across Ohio’s counties.

Monday-Friday, Oct. 12-Oct 16, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Monday-Friday, Oct. 19-Oct. 23, 8 a.m.–6 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 24, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 25, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.

Monday-Friday Oct. 26-Oct. 30, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 31, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 1, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 2, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Early voting location:

Clark County

(New location for early voting) Turner Studio Theatre at the Clark State Performing Arts Center

300 South Fountain Ave., Springfield

Mailing Address: PO Box 1766 Springfield, OH 45501-1766 Telephone: (937) 521-2120 Fax: (937) 328-2603 E-mail: elections@clark.boe.ohio.gov Website: www.boe.ohio.gov/clark/

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