By Kristin Bednarski
Early voting will soon commence in Clermont County, enabling residents to cast their vote before the polls open Nov. 6.
Clermont County Board of Elections Director Judy Miller, said early voting will begin Oct. 2 and run through Nov. 5.
“October 2 we will start mailing out the absentee ballots for people who requested to vote by mail,” Miller said. “People will also be able to come to our office and vote.”
She said there are several advantages to voting early.
“If something comes up they know they voted and they can get it out of the way,” Miller said. “They are not waiting in long lines, they are voting at their convenience.”
Miller said the only disadvantage to voting early is if a voter hasn’t made up his or her mind.
“Once you have voted you’re done,” Miller said. “You cannot withdraw that ballot.”
Miller said some people decide not to vote early because they have heard a common misconception that ballots cast early do not count unless there is a tie.
“The votes count,” Miller said. “In fact, those are the first ballots counted on election night after 7:30 p.m.”
Miller said after the polls close at 7:30 p.m. they start counting those votes at the board of elections office and then proceed to total the votes from the 200 precincts as they come in.
Miller said registered voters received applications to request an absentee ballot through the Secretary of State’s office this year in addition to separate mailings from political parties and other campaigns.
She said they have received 11,542 requests for an absentee ballot so far for the November election.
“We are almost even to where we were at the presidential election in 2008,” Miller said about absentee ballot requests.
Miller said ballots for military personnel and citizens overseas were released Sept. 22.
Miller said voters can come vote at the Clermont County Board of Elections Office, located at 76 South Riverside Drive in Batavia, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
She said they have not scheduled an weekend voting at this time.
Miller stressed that the deadline to register to vote for the November election is Oct. 9. She said citizens who have changed their address or their name must make the appropriate changes before the deadline in order to vote at their precinct.
Miller said the office will be open until 9 p.m. Oct. 9.
For more information about voting in Clermont County visit www.clermontelections.org.