MT. VERNON, Ohio — Following the declaration of a public health emergency, Secretary of State Frank LaRose made the decision to relocate polling locations at 143 senior residential facilities.
One of those is the Ohio Eastern Star Home in Mount Vernon.
- Local Board of Elections scrambled in recent days to take precautions to stop any potential spread of the coronavirus
- Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose continues to canvass the state alerting the public about changes to polling locations and the importance of proper sanitation
- Voters can still cast their ballots by mail, but they must be postmarked by March 16
Michele Engelbach says when she heard about the first coronavirus case in Ohio, she knew someone had to take action. She just wasn’t sure who.
“Was I going to call them first, were they going to call me first, what’s the plan here because I don’t know that we can provide that service this year because we will not put, obviously, our elders at risk,” said Ohio Eastern Star Home CEO Michele Engelbach.
LaRose says officials across the state are working on notifying voters via mail, social media posts and through community organizations about changes in polling locations.
“Like the League of Women Voters, the NAACP, the A. Phillip Randolph Institute and, of course, both political parties in the state. So, we’ve worked to push this information out to them to share with their network,” saod LaRose.
LaRose says voters can also check their polling location online.
Polling locations will all have hand sanitizer available. But there’s still a worrisome shortage — of poll workers.
“A polling location is safe for both voters and for the poll workers that work there. But we want to put out the call for poll workers. Every county in Ohio is always looking for poll workers. It’s a patriotic duty and there are a lot of people that are perhaps not going to classes now. Think of our college students. There are a lot of people who may not be working right now,” said LaRose.
For voters in Mt. Vernon who usually go to the Eastern Star Home, they’ll now report to Mount Vernon Academy Dining Hall.
LaRose says he will continue traveling across the state in coming days to make sure election day goes off without a hitch.
“Ohio has been proactive and decisive about this, and thoughtful about this, and I think that the Buckeye State can be proud of what we’ve done to make sure we’re protecting Ohioans,” says LaRose.
Voters can still cast their ballots by mail. It just has to be postmarked by March 16 to be counted.
LaRose says county Board of Elections will also have curbside drop-off for absentee ballots on Election Day at the Board Offices.