WILMINGTON — A vendor contracted by the Clinton County Board of Elections to mail absentee ballots to voters for the Nov. 3, 2020 General Election has experienced several issues that have caused delays in getting the ballots to voters in Clinton County and other Ohio counties working with the vendor.
After a conference call on Wednesday evening with representatives from the Office of the Ohio Secretary of State, the vendor, and other counties contracted with the vendor, the Clinton County Board of Elections has decided to process and mail all absentee ballots in-house for the remainder of the absentee voting period for this election.
“We tried to work through the issues with the vendor but after the conference call we learned the scope of the issues affecting other counties. We are going to do what is best for our voters and the timely mail delivery of their absentee ballots,” said Shane C. Breckel, Director of the Clinton County Board of Elections. “Moving forward this election we will return to doing all absentee processing in-house.”
Breckel said 3,807 absentee ballots were mailed to voters by the vendor on Friday, Oct. 9. These ballots were fulfilled from requests received by the board through Sept. 21, 2020. Because of the weekend and the Columbus Day holiday on Monday, voters began receiving those ballots on Tuesday and should expect to receive their ballot no later than Thursday, Oct. 15.
Before the decision was made to send absentee ballots in-house, the vendor had already started processing absentee ballots from requests from voters received by the board from Sept. 22 through Oct. 9 totaling 930 ballots. Those absentee ballots will be mailed to voters this week.
Absentee ballot requests from voters received by the board this week will be the first to be mailed directly by the board. All requests received from voters from Oct. 12 through Oct. 15 will be mailed by the board on Oct. 15.
“By Friday, we will have all requests fulfilled,” said Breckel “We thank voters for their patience and apologize for the delay in receiving their ballots. Our staff will now be able to get ballots to voters within 24 hours of receiving their absentee ballot request so we see no delays for the rest of the absentee by mail voting period.
“There is still ample time to return voted ballots to the Board of Elections by mail or in our secure drop box located outside of our entrance.”
Voters who don’t want to wait for their absentee ballot by mail can come to the Board of Elections office to vote Early In-Person. Breckel said because Early In-Person Voting is a form of absentee voting, the Board of Elections can soil the mail absentee ballot and issue the voter a ballot to vote in-person. The voter does not have to vote a Provisional Ballot.
Early In-Person Voting Schedule:
Oct. 15-16: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Oct. 19-23: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Oct.24: Saturday 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Oct. 25: Sunday 1-5 p.m.
Oct. 26-30: 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
Oct. 31: Saturday 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Nov. 1: Sunday 1-5 p.m.