City Notes: Whitehall residents should plan ahead to vote
During the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and all that we've been through in 2020, it's hard to believe that the general election is just two months away.
With the presidential election and elections for all 16 Ohio congressional seats, district and county judges, county commissioners and a number of local issues, it's needless to say that there is a lot at stake in the 2020 general election.
The pandemic has made planning ahead for Election Day essential, and you can take some simple steps now to make sure that your voting experience is simple, safe and successful.
For starters, if you've moved or turned 18 recently, don't forget to register to vote by Oct. 5.
To register to vote or update your information, simply go to the Ohio Secretary of State's website at voteohio.gov. If you don't have access to a computer, you can visit the computer lab at the Whitehall branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, 4445 E. Broad St., or register in person at the Franklin County Board of Elections, 1700 Morse Road. If you are unsure of where you last registered, search for your information on the Franklin County Board of Elections website, vote. franklincountyohio.gov, or call 614-525-3100.
The next step is to make plans for casting your vote.
With the social-distancing implications surrounding the pandemic, voting early and voting by mail offer great alternatives to in-person voting.
To vote by mail, you first must request your absentee ballot; the deadline for doing so is noon Oct. 31. To request your absentee ballot, go to voteohio.gov and print an absentee ballot request form or call the Franklin County Board of Elections at 614-525-3100 to request that a form be mailed to you.
To vote early, visit the Franklin County Board of Elections Early Vote Center at 1700 Morse Road starting Oct. 6. Hours and times are posted at vote.franklincountyohio.gov.
As you are finalizing your plans, remember that early voting and voting by mail end Nov. 2.
For those who prefer to vote in person on Election Day, Nov. 3, Whitehall's polling locations will include Whitehall-Yearling High School, Faith Lutheran Church, Beechwood Elementary School, Whitehall United Methodist Church, Eastview United Methodist Church and the Whitehall Senior Center. If you are unsure of your polling location, the Franklin County Board of Elections website has a voter-information search function, or you can call 614-525-3100.
Finally, if you have not already considered serving as a poll worker, know that you are needed now more than ever due to a shortage of volunteers. Not only will you be compensated for your time, but serving as a poll worker will help to ensure that others enjoy a safe, secure, fast Election Day experience.
Learn more and sign up at workelectionday.com.
As your mayor, I am a firm believer in the power that kind, thoughtful individuals have to wield real, meaningful change on both the local and national levels. So please, no matter how you vote this fall, take this opportunity to have your voice be heard.
Kim Maggard is mayor of Whitehall.