Campus International Ballot Drop-Off Site To Stay Open This Weekend

Cuyahoga County Board of Election staff are accepting completed ballots in the parking lot of Campus International High School near East 30th Street and Chester Avenue.
Cuyahoga County Board of Election staff are accepting completed ballots in the parking lot of Campus International High School near East 30th Street and Chester Avenue. [ideastream]

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The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections is keeping its additional ballot drop-off site open this weekend, a schedule change driven by the high numbers of voters casting ballots early.

Board members approved a plan Friday morning to staff the Campus International High School collection site from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 17 and 18.

There’s no early in-person voting this weekend at the board and previously, the Campus International drop-off site was available only during voting hours. The ballot drop box in the board’s parking lot is open 24 hours a day.

Both ballot drop options have been hugely popular, Director Anthony Perlatti said. Of the 80,000 Cuyahoga County ballots received as of Thursday, 33,000 came through the drop box or Campus International site, he said.

“When you figure that on average an individual brings about two ballots, one for them and their spouse in the household, 16,500 cars that have come through in 10 days just for that purpose,” Perlatti said, “in addition to the almost 2,000 people who have been coming every day to vote early in person here at the board, and with those cars.”

Voters can turn into the Campus International High School parking lot from East 30th Street. There, bipartisan teams collect ballots to later be taken up the street to the board headquarters. Drivers exit onto Chester Avenue.

Early in-person voting began Oct. 6 and is confined to weekdays until Saturday, Oct. 24. Boards of elections also will be open for weekend in-person voting on Oct. 25, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. See all early in-person voting hours here.

The Campus International lot will be open on those weekends, too. Local election officials have the option to keep the lot open for longer on the weekends, if needed.

The board had planned to collect ballots at six local libraries across the county, to ease drop-box traffic for an election year where the coronavirus is driving absentee ballot requests to unprecedented levels. But Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose halted the Cuyahoga County board’s library drop-off plans in September, later allowing the Campus International site to go forward.

Several Northeast Ohio counties have taken steps to expand ballot collection in the immediate vicinity of election board headquarters, in line with an Oct. 5 directive from LaRose.

A legal challenge to the state’s ballot drop-off rules is pending before the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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