Recent changes, which allow everyone the opportunity to use an absentee ballot with no special reasoning required, are brilliant. Most will recall that until the law was changed you had to be ill, out of the country, or have some other critical reason in order to use an absentee ballot.
Now the process is as easy as filling out a simple document, either print the form using your local board of elections website, fill it out on-line in “PDF” format, or fill one out at in person your local board of elections.
I decided that this process was for me well before the law was changed, but this mid term “general election” seemed to be the best way to try out this most convenient method of voting.
I found it to be one of the easiest government related transactions ever. In order to understand the process I first went to the Geauga County Board of Elections website and read the instructions regarding this process. I had already researched all of the candidates and issues on the ballot, so the only thing I needed now would be the actual ballot.
Well that would be getting ahead of myself because the first thing is to fill out the official “absentee voter request form.” Next I needed to submit that to the board of elections, then they gave me a ballot for the precinct where I live. Elections are the only time many of us need to recall what precinct we live in, and naturally I never remember mine.
My precinct information was retrieved over the phone by calling the board of elections. I spoke with a very knowledgeable woman, Jan Vondrasek, and she was extremely helpful in answering all of my questions.
I would like to say that I intentionally submitted my application at the last minute, but that would be false, as I had the completed form with me for about a week before I made it over to the board of elections office yesterday! This was not a problem as I was one of about a hundred people in line doing the same thing.
Many people will do anything to avoid mingling with the crowds at the polls. This process is exactly what busy voters need so that we can schedule the day and time we can make it there. Now if you are really organized you could do all of this through the mail, and they will send your ballot to you. This is then filled out and returned to them.
There are many specifics as to when you can apply for an absentee ballot, but if you go there in person you can do this right up to close of business the day before an election. You still have to be a registered voter, and that can not be done the day before an election!
I heard from a friend today that astronauts voted from space, so I figure if they can do it then there is no excuse for people here on earth to get their votes in!
Geauga County Board of Elections: