ohio secretary of state

This fall, election workers will sort mountains of paper, upload data from thousands of USB sticks and tabulate millions of votes — all to tell Ohioans who won their 18 electors, who will don judges’ robes, who will ascend to local office and who will pay more in taxes.

How do county election boards keep it all straight?

“You have to be extremely organized,” Cuyahoga County Board of Elections Director Anthony Perlatti said. “We put a bar code on everything, we label everything.”

A social distancing sign rests on the floor as people participate during early voting at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, in Cleveland.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

Ohio boards of elections are seeing an unprecedented flood of early in-person voting and dropping off of absentee ballots, in spite of heated partisanship that has bred fear among some voters. Elections officials, law enforcement and citizens groups are mobilized to keep voters safe.

A direct mail company that’s been hired to print and distribute absentee ballots to Ohioans who requested them has not been able to get them to voters as fast as was promised.

A view of an Ohio voting sticker at the Hamilton County Board of Elections to participate in early voting, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, in Norwood, Ohio.
Aaron Doster / Associated Press

If you wear your red "Make America Great Again" hat or your "Ridin' with Biden" t-shirt to the polls this fall, you could be asked to remove it or turn your shirt inside out. Ohio law says you cannot enter a polling place wearing any article of clothing that advocates for or against a candidate.

In this April 28, 2020 file photo, Marcia McCoy drops her ballot into a box outside the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections in Cleveland, Ohio.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

In the latest legal wrangling over Ohio's ballot drop boxes, a federal judge in Cleveland has temporarily blocked Secretary of State Frank LaRose's directive limiting the receptacles to one location within a county. But LaRose moved immediately to appeal.

Jim O'Bryan drops off his election ballot in the drop box at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, Wednesday, April 22, 2020, in Cleveland.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

Voting rights groups attempting to expand access to ballot drop boxes in Ohio's election are getting a second chance to make their case.

A poll worker checks in an early voter at the Franklin County Board of Elections on Oct. 6, 2020.
Nick Evans / WOSU

Ohioans are technically required to wear face masks when they vote in-person this election. But what happens if the voter refuses to wear one?

Franklin County ballot with races specific to Whitehall sent to Worthington voter.
Andy Chow / Statehouse News Bureau

Secretary of State Frank LaRose has issued a directive for the Franklin County Board of Elections to fix a mistake where incorrect absentee ballots were sent to voters. The scope of the problem is yet to be determined, but election officials say this creates an important lesson for voters around the state.

The secure ballot drop box at the Franklin County Board of Elections on Morse Road.
Darrin McDonald / WOSU

The Ohio Secretary of State's Office says employees from county boards of elections can not pick up absentee ballots from voters off-site, in contrast with a federal order released yesterday.

Pat DeVito cleans a voting booth during early voting at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, in Cleveland.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

While early voting mostly started without a hitch, the Ohio Secretary of State's Office says poll workers are being prepared in case any one of a number of controversies arise at voting locations this election.

Updated: 11:50 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020

The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections will not collect completed ballots at local libraries this fall, despite a federal judge’s ruling this week that seemed to allow it, a board member told ideastream Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Dan Polster interpreted a recent state election directive more broadly than Secretary of State Frank LaRose intended, Democratic board member Inajo Davis Chappell said.

In this April 28, 2020 file photo, Marcia McCoy drops her ballot into a box outside the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections in Cleveland, Ohio.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

A federal judge in Cleveland has broadly interpreted a new directive from Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose allowing ballot drop boxes at locations “outside” boards of elections, saying that means they're permitted at multiple locations within a county. That runs directly counter to LaRose's stated intention, though.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose speaks about the need to delay Ohio's primary election on Monday, March 16.
Andy Chow / Ohio Public Radio

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has signed onto a letter urging the U.S. Senate to press forward with the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barret to the U.S. Supreme Court before the November election.

Ohio's fall election is fast-approaching, with the pandemic still in full swing. Election Day is scheduled for November 3, and the U.S. presidential race, all 16 Ohio congressional seats and many other state races will be on the ballot.

Registered Nurse Janice Tatonetti, right, takes the temperature of Harry Pearson before he votes in Ohio's primary election at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, Tuesday, April 28, 2020, in Cleveland.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

Ohio’s voting precincts normally need 37,000 poll workers on Election Day, but even more are needed this year during the pandemic.

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