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Cuyahoga County Voters Get Second Ballot Drop Location Tuesday

A second ballot drop off site for Cuyahoga County voters will be operational starting at 8 a.m. on Tuesday at Campus International High School. [Glenn Forbes / ideastream]
ballot drop-off sign

A second ballot drop-off location will be available for Cuyahoga County voters as of Tuesday morning.

Cuyahoga County Board of Elections staff will be available to accept completed ballots starting at 8 a.m. at the Campus International High School on Chester Avenue. The parking lot for the school is directly across E. 30 th Street from the back of the board of election main building and the main drop box.

Director Anthony Perlatti said the board is asking voters to use the new drop box location from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, though the hours are altered through election season and can be found on the Cuyahoga County Board of Election website.

“It'll be faster,” Perlatti said. “There's a nice long driveway to pull in off of East 30th and we'll have multiple teams so we can have a nice flow of traffic going, and again, working with traffic control officers, and it keeps voters on foot waiting in line and exiting our building from voters in cars.”

All parties at the county board of elections agreed on Campus International High School as the second site, Perlatti said, but they will continue to adjust if necessary.

“As far as any other additional sites, we need for things to play out in the courts and get our final direction on that from the Secretary of State,” Perlatti said. “So, for now, just know that we're focused on this site.”

U.S. District Judge Dan Polster ruled late Thursday that Ohio counties may set up more than one drop box. Secretary of State Frank LaRose is appealing the decision, the latest round in a court battle over Ohio ballot drop-off locations that has been going on for weeks.

The latest ruling would allow Cuyahoga County to move forward with plans to utilize six libraries as ballot drop off sites. Mike West, the county board of elections communications director, said Friday that the back and forth and the appeals process have put a halt to the library plans for now.

Perlatti said through Friday, well over 200,000 ballots are in the mail to voters and “they’re definitely getting out there and they’re definitely getting back.”

The printing vendor used by the Cuyahoga County board will be working through the weekend to continue to print and Perlatti said all 300,000 ballots should be out by Monday.

Board Deputy Director Shantiel Soeder said many voters who have already dropped off their ballots have asked when it will show up on the county’s track-your-ballot web page.

“We need at least 24 hours, probably more like a day and a half, for that to get over to our tabulation center, which is actually where we process all the vote-by-mail ballots and give the voter credit in the voter registration record that the ballot was returned. And then usually a few hours after that happens we will send files periodically to the website,” Soeder said.

Friday afternoon, several dozen voters were lined up around the board of elections building waiting to cast ballots, with cars waiting for open parking spots at Campus International. West said LaRose approved the second ballot box just off-site as the Board hopes to alleviate congestion at the main building during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Glenn Forbes is supervising producer of newscasts at Ideastream Public Media.