Editor, The Courier:
As this momentous election for the President of the United States approaches, I would like to ask all citizens to vow to support a full and transparent process in casting ballots and ensuring that ALL votes are counted. The concerns over in-person voting during COVID-19 and confusion over mail-in voting requirements have raised the specter that not everyone’s vote will count.
Accurate information about voting, including absentee voting (voting by mail), can be obtained from your county Board of Elections. For Vinton County — https://www.boe.ohio.gov/vinton/election-info/ and for Jackson County — https://www.boe.ohio.gov/jackson/election-info/
If you have already voted or plan to vote by mail, you can confirm that the BOE received and counted your ballot by going to their website. If you’ve not yet mailed in your ballot, do it soon. It needs to be postmarked by Monday, Nov. 2. If the BOE has not received your ballot, you can vote a provisional ballot. If you run into problems on Election Day or have concerns about whether proper procedures are being followed, you can call 1-866-OUR-VOTE, a service by the Ohio Voter Rights Coalition, a network of nonpartisan voter advocates.
The local BOEs are responsible for counting the votes – ALL THE VOTES – and must not be given an arbitrary deadline by which to complete the count. We are accustomed to having the results of the election the evening of the vote, or at the latest by the next morning, but this year promises to be different and as an American proud of our democracy I call on everyone to be patient as the count is completed.