March 13, 2020

Board of Elections changes voting procedures due to virus

The Butler County Board of Elections has made several changes to Election Day procedures in response to the ongoing spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Recently classified by the World Health Organization as a pandemic, COVID-19 is disrupting elections, schools, universities, businesses and more across the globe. The Ohio primary election is Tuesday, March 17, and the Butler County Board of Elections has had two press briefings regarding Election Day and the virus.

On March 5, the Board stated that all polling locations were to be provided with hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies to wipe down voting surfaces. Diane J. Noonan, director of the Board of Elections, encouraged voters who feel ill to request and cast their ballots by mail. She also encouraged voters to take advantage of early voting opportunities.

A second press release, on March 10, introduced the relocation of several polling locations in Monroe and Fairfield. At the order of Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, all polling locations in retirement living or senior care facilities must be relocated for the safety of seniors.

Older adults are at higher risk for serious cases of COVID-19, according to the CDC.

As for voting by mail, voters must apply by noon this Saturday, March 14, for an absentee ballot. The ballot may be returned in-person to the Board of Elections office, 1802 Princeton Road, #600, Hamilton, by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day, or must be postmarked by Monday, March 16. For more information on absentee voting, visit the board of elections website.

In addition, the board has extended early voting hours for the week leading up to the election. Early voting hours are now as follows:

  • March 2 through March 7: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on each weekday; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 7
  • March 9 through March 15: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on each weekday; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 14; 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 15
  • Week of Election Day: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, March 16

All Butler County voters can look up their polling location here. For any additional questions regarding the state’s response to the coronavirus, visit VoteOhio.gov/CoronaFacts. For more information about COVID-19, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/.