Ohio Primary Election: Make Your Vote Count: Ohio’s primary election is here, and the County Board of Elections is ready to help make sure every vote counts. Voting is open till 7:30 pm. For individual voting.
Volunteer polling monitors are in place to maintain civil order, along with polling personnel assisting voters.
Colin Marozzi, deputy policy director for the ACLU of Ohio, said polling personnel and election officials have a legal obligation to provide a safe and secure physical environment for casting ballots.
“They take that obligation very seriously, and they really investigate harassment claims, making sure people know where they can and can’t be,” Marozzi explained. “And if necessary, if any disruptive is happening, they have the right to remove them from that place.”
For absentee ballots, the return envelope must be postmarked no later than tomorrow, May 2, but the County Board of Elections will collect absentee ballots in person until voting closes today.
Voters can track their absentee ballots, find polling places and check their registration online at voteohio.gov.
Marozzi explained that while Ohio law has strict policies about campaigning near polling places, safe zones have been established within 100 feet.
“They are designated by the little American flags you see in the parking lot,” Marozzi said. “If someone crosses that threshold, and they engage in either election campaigning or potential harassment or intimidation of voters, the leaders of all polling personnel at that location will respond to that threat accordingly.”
He said incidents of voter intimidation are more common during general elections than in primary elections.
“We are not expecting a large number of complaints to be made,” Marozzi emphasized. “And certainly not to the extent that they were during the general election in 2020 when reports swirled that we were getting harassment and threats in elections.”
Marozi stressed that election observers are separate from monitors and heavily regulated. They are registered by party affiliation and actually watch the ballots count.