What voters in Clark, Champaign counties can expect on Election Day

Most of the voting booths were full Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020 at the early voting site in the Clark State Performing Arts Center. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Most of the voting booths were full Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020 at the early voting site in the Clark State Performing Arts Center. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Some voters in Clark County will see a change in polling locations come election day Tuesday as local officials aim to ensure social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Two polling locations will be different this year, while the other 46 in the county will stay the same, according to the Clark County Board of Elections.

Those changes include voting taking place at Locust Hills Golf Club at 5575 N. River Road instead of at the Pitchin Fire House on Selma Road. Another polling location that has been moved due to coronavirus related concerns is the one at the Tremont City Municipal Building. Instead it has been moved to Lawrenceville Church of God at 3131 Fox Hollow Road.

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The changes will allow for a better flow of traffic as well as more space to ensure social distancing, local election officials told the Springfield News-Sun. It will also allow for greater distance between ballot stations, Amber Lopez, the deputy director for the Clark County Board of Elections, said.

“There may be fewer voter booths to mark your ballot depending on the location, because those will be more spread out,” she said.

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The location for early voting in the county was changed earlier this year to the Turner Studio Theatre in downtown Springfield, allowing for more voting check-in stations as there has been a record breaking number of absentee voting.

Lopez said that as of Friday afternoon, 41% of registered voters in Clark County had already cast a ballot. As of the same afternoon, 20,707 ballots have been sent through the mail and 18,905 people have voted in-person since early voting started in the state on Oct. 6.

Early in-person voting continued over the weekend. The final opportunity to vote in-person early is from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. today.

In addition to physical changes such as adding barriers to ensure social distancing and limiting contact at the polls, local election officials are anticipating an increase in poll workers on election day.

Jason Baker, the director of the Clark County Board of Elections, said they have increased that number of poll workers from a usual of 360 to 500. However, he said the goal was to have 550 poll workers trained for this election.

He said duties would include sanitizing voter stations in addition to performing routine election duties. Voters are required to wear masks as well as adhere to social distancing procedures.

However, Lopez said that they cannot prevent eligible voters from casting a ballot.

“There are certain rules that we have and expect people to follow,” she said. “From what we have seen at the early vote center, almost everyone has a mask on and there has not really been an issue.”

Face coverings will be available for those that do not have one, Lopez added. Voters who do not wear one are asked to keep their distance when going through the voting process.

Baker said curbside voting is an option.

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In Champaign County, all nine polling locations will stay the same. The voting process will be relatively the same, with the addition of more social distancing measures.

There will also be electronic readers that will allow voter’s to verify their identification in order to limit contact, said Jodi Flora, the deputy director for the Champaign County Board of Elections.

Voters are asked to wear face coverings and adhere to social distancing measures. Those that do not comply can either cast a ballot by curbside or do so inside the polling location.

However, Flora said that not wearing a mask could create a situation that could hold up the line for voters.

In terms of voter turn out on Tuesday, she said they are prepared. But Flora noted that as of Thursday, 37% of registered voters in the county have already cast a ballot.

Where to vote early in person

Early voting locations:

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/

Champaign County

Champaign County Board of Elections

1512 South U.S. Hwy 68, Suite L100 Urbana

Telephone: (937) 484-1575 Fax: (937) 484-1578 E-mail: champaig@OhioSoS.gov Website: www.boe.ohio.gov/champaign/

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