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Election Protection is WKSU’s community information initiative focused on access, policy and community resources around voting this November.

Akron Man Waits and Waits for Absentee Ballot, Turns to Plan B

empty mailbox
Andrew Meyer
Still no absentee ballot? Voters who have not received their requested ballots by mail might consider voting early in person or on Election Day. Elections officials are advising to bypass the mail and drop off completed ballots to their local board of elections drop box.

Absentee ballots were delayed in Summit County when the contractor Midwest Direct didn’t deliver them in time, and the board of elections decided to print them. But one Akron resident never received the absentee ballot he requested. And he’s wondering why.

Craig Thompson filled out his vote-by-mail application in August. The Summit County Board of Elections ballot tracker said it had been mailed Oct. 6. As of Monday, he hadn’t received it. Thompson says he called the board of elections, who blamed the post office. He didn’t call the post office. Instead he decided to vote early in person.

“The solution to my issue was I could either come down and vote or apply again," Thompson said. "It seemed very convoluted, the explanation. In desperation, I decided to go ahead and go down and vote.”

Around the country, election officials are urging voters at this point to drop off their absentee ballots instead of mailing them in.

The U.S. Postal Service has not responded to a request for comment.

Afi Scruggs is an award-winning writer/journalist and author who lives in Cleveland, Ohio. Her career started in 1983 as a freelancer in Richmond, Virginia. After that, she worked at newspapers in Washington, D.C., Jackson, Mississippi, and Dayton, Ohio, before settling in Cleveland.