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County BOE Seeking Poll Workers, Prepping Voters For Aug. 3 Special Primary

Early in-person voting begins next week. [Annie Wu / Ideastream Public Media]
A sign reading "VOTE: Cuyahoga County Board of Elections."

The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections is urging residents to check whether their precinct is part of the 11th Congressional District ahead of the Aug. 3 special primary election.

The upcoming primary isn’t countywide, but does cover more than 500 precincts across Cuyahoga County and more than 420,000 registered voters, said BOE Director Anthony Perlatti Tuesday.

The BOE website has a list of included precincts, as well as an interactive map.

“What’s tricky is, is a municipality like Cleveland, not all wards in Cleveland are in the election,” Perlatti said. “And even some of the wards that are in the election, not all precincts are participating in that.”

Residents can register to vote or update their registration until July 6. Early in-person voting begins July 7, and absentee ballot requests need to be sent by July 31.

Voters must specify that their application is for the August special primary and which party they want to vote with. If that information isn’t provided, Perlatti said the BOE will have to get in touch with the applicant for clarification or reject the ballot application.

“The number one reason in a partisan primary for rejections of vote-by-mail applications is that individuals don’t select party type,” Perlatti said. “That is important and you need to do that.”

Thirteen Democratic candidates are running to fill the seat of former Rep. Marcia Fudge, Perlatti said, as well as two Republicans. Voter information guides are being mailed out to residents in the areas where voting will take place.

Click to expand: Ohio's 11th Congressional District [Cuyahoga County Board of Elections]

The BOE also is seeking staff for the August special election. About 600 poll workers are still needed to meet the goal of 2,000, Perlatti said. The BOE is also seeking additional staff to help tabulate results after the polls close.

“We are in a good position, but we’re not full, so we need individuals to step up and help us out,” Perlatti said. “It’s a great way to help out your community on Election Day.”

The BOE will follow guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state guidelines to ensure safety for in-person voting, Perlatti said, as COVID-19 remains a concern. Expect polling places to be offering face masks, new pens and hand sanitizer, as well as wiping down surfaces again for this election cycle.

But officials are expecting a lower turnout this year, he said, which means some precautions put in place during the 2020 general election won’t be necessary.

“We don’t have to have all the barriers between the booths, just because again, the size of the election, we won’t have as many booths up,” Perlatti said. “We’ll have sufficient booths, where people don’t have to wait in line long.”