Ohio elections officials prepare for primary, COVID-19

Voters came in higher numbers than usual for the Bridgeport city elections.
Voters came in higher numbers than usual for the Bridgeport city elections.(WDTV)
Published: Feb. 5, 2020 at 5:10 PM EST
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Update: 3/10/2020

With Ohio's primary days away, state elections officials are taking preventative actions to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Secretary of State Frank LaRose has issued a statement outlining his office's actions. It can be found on the "Hot Button" on our home page.

Polling places will be open on primary election day, March 17th.

And Washington County Board of Elections Deputy Director Karen Palowski says poll workers will be ready.

"We've had training for our poll workers. We're going to have hand sanitizer available at all the polling locations, along with alcohol wipes to be used on any of the machines or anything."

LaRose's office advised county elections directors to relocate polling places from locations where senior citizens gather, such as senior apartment complexes, nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Pawloski says Washington County does not have polling places at those locations.

Meanwhile, early voting continues through Monday, March 16, at the elections board office on Davis Avenue in Marietta. Early voting times are listed below.

Update: 2/20/2020

With early voting now going on across Ohio, there's a lot of activity ahead of the March 17 primary.

In Washington County, 55 people showed up to cast ballots on the first day of early voting Wednesday.

And the board of elections says more than 380 absentee ballots have been sent out so far.

Presidential candidates will be on the ballot for the Ohio primary, but Deputy Elections Director Karen Pawloski says local candidates and issues also seem to be attracting voters.

There are contested Republican races for Washington County Commissioner and Prosecutor on the primary ballot, along with a levy renewal for Marietta City Schools.

Update: 2/17/2020

As of February 17, we are exactly one month away from Ohio's presidential-and local-primary.

The deadline for voter registration for the March 17 primary is Tuesday, and early in-person voting begins Wednesday.

It's also a good time to find out if your registration is still valid, especially if you haven't voted in recent elections.

There are county offices up for election this year, and-especially on the Republican side-contested races in the primary.

"I think because it's also a presidential year," says Karen Palowski, Deputy Washington County Elections Director, "people are more familiar with the voting process and making sure they can go out and support their local candidates as well."

There are contested races for the Republican nomination in Washington County, for the county prosecutor and two county commission seats.

Early voting for the primary ends the day before primary day itself, at which time voting will take place at county polling places.


Here are the upcoming important dates for the March 17 primary in Washington County:

Tuesday, February 18-Last day to register to vote for the March 17 primary; Washington County Board of Elections on Davis Avenue in Marietta open that day from 8AM-9PM.

Wednesday, February 19-Early In-Person voting begins at the board of elections office. Office open from 8AM-5PM from February 19-21, from February 24-28 and from March 2-6.

The office will be open for early voting from 8AM-4PM March 7 and March 14, from 8AM-7PM March 9-13. from 1-5PM March 15, and from 8AM-2PM March 16.

March 16 is the last day of early voting. March 17, the primary election day, voters cast ballots at their designated precincts.

We're about six weeks away from the Ohio Primary. And while the presidential race is front and center, there are a lot of local races and issues.

Washington County voters will cast ballots in contested races for county-wide offices.

There are contested races for two of the three seats on the county commission.

And there are some issues on the ballot as well-notably, a renewal of a school levy in the Marietta City district.

"Not any county-wide issues, but there will be issues for Marietta city school voters," notes Karen Pawlowski, Deputy Director of the Washington County Board of Elections, "as well as Muskingum West voters for a fire department levy, and Lowell will have an electrical aggregation issue in their vote."

The last day to register to vote for the primary is February 17. Early voting, as noted above, begins February 18.

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