On this day 55 Years Ago, the Voting Rights Act was signed by Lyndon B. Johnson, prohibiting racial discrimination in voting. While this was a landmark act, changes by the Supreme Court in 2013 has led to new voter suppression efforts across the country. Legislation has been in the Senate for months, but Mitch McConnell has been blocking this legislation, which is particularly sad with the recent passing of John Lewis.
The Butler County Democratic Party of Ohio wants to make sure you are able to vote. Here are steps you can take to make sure that your vote (and others) are counted in this upcoming election.
Make Sure You’re Registered
Before you can vote, you need to make sure you are registered. In Butler County, Ohio, you can check this easily on the Board of Elections website. It is as easy as entering your last name and street number and name, and it will indicate if you are registered or not. Do you need to update your registration? You’ll see a link prompting you to do so. This will be particularly important if you have moved or changed your name.
If you aren’t registered, or if you know someone that needs to register, you can register online. You will need an Ohio driver’s license or Ohio identification card to register online. If these aren’t available to you, you can also register by downloading this PDF. If you are registered correctly, check with your family members and network to make sure their registrations are up to date.
Please be aware that new registrations or updates to your registration must be completed by 9:00 PM on October 5, 2020 for the November 2020 election.
Make a Voting Plan
You’ve almost certainly seen information in the news or on your social media about voting by mail. Despite what you may hear, this is a safe and effective way of voting, and in Ohio you can vote by mail for ANY reason. This is especially effective for college students and people who travel for work. But this year, this can also be a safe way for people who are at high risk of Covid to vote. If you would like to vote by mail, there is no reason to wait to ask for your absentee ballot. With potential slowdowns in the USPS, we would recommend you get your absentee ballot request mailed soon. The Board of Elections will have time to review and process your request, and your ballot should be ready to mail on October 6. Vote by Mail Applications must be either mailed to Butler Country Board of Elections, 1802 Princeton Rd, Suite 600, Hamilton OH 45011, or dropped off at the secure drop box at this same address. Please be aware, if you request an absentee ballot, you must vote with this ballot, and not in person.
If you prefer to vote in person, you can either vote early at the Board of Elections or on Election Day. Early Voting starts on October 6 at the Board of Elections. Early voting dates and hours are as follows:
Week One of Voting (October 6 – October 9)
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on each weekday (Tuesday through Friday)
Week Two of Voting (October 12 – October 16)
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on each weekday (Monday through Friday)
Week Three of Voting (October 19 – October 25)
8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on each weekday (Monday through Friday)
8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 24
1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 25
Week Four of Voting (October 26 – November 1)
8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on each weekday (Monday through Friday)
8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 31
1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 1
8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the Monday before Election Day
And lastly, if you prefer the excitement of voting on Election Day, you can vote on November 3 from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm at your assigned precinct location. When you check your voter registration, this will also display your polling location.
Be A Poll Worker
Speaking of Election Day, you have the opportunity to participate as a Precinct Election Official. By working the polls, you’ll have a front row seat to our democracy in action. This year more than ever, the Board of Elections is looking for people to serve as PEOs, as many people who have worked in the past may not feel comfortable because of health vulnerabilities. Each precinct needs an equal number of Democratic and Republican workers, and we’d encourage you to volunteer. There is a 3-hour training course, and you are paid for working on Election Day. Learn more about serving as a Precinct Election Official.
Don’t Be Shy: Ask!
Lastly, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to either the Butler County Democratic Party or to the Butler County Board of Elections. Voting is your right as a US citizen, and one we should all take the responsibility to fulfill, especially this year. And for ongoing updates on this election cycle, sign up for our weekly newsletter.