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Letters From Home: "I Felt Proud To Cast My Vote Early"

A bowl of stickers for those taking advantage of early voting, Sunday, March 15, 2020, in Steubenville, Ohio.
Gene Puskar
/
Associated Press
Ohioans share how their voting experience has been so far.

WOSU's Letters from Home collects stories about our day-to-day lives during the era of COVID-19. This week, Ohioans share their voting experiences, from visiting the polls in person to casting their ballots absentee.

Rosalind M. Moore from Columbus

I waited an hour in line wrapped around polling station. The weather was cool and volunteers were extremely helpful and courteous. I felt proud to cast my vote early.

I was at first discouraged because of the long lines, but remembered all the sacrifices from Susan B. Anthony to the Civil Rights Movement that made it possible for me to even have the right to vote.

It was an honor and a privilege to cast my vote and to always remember the people before me that made it possible for me to have the right to vote.

Cliff Beall from Gahanna

The voting process was very smooth. I wish I had known about the tracking process for mail ballots earlier (voteohio.gov/track). It would have eased worries I had about the mail being slow and or having limited drop boxes.

I don't think the media did a good job of letting me know this was going to be available.

Tim Parrish from Pataskala

I voted early on last Friday morning in Newark at the Licking County Board of Elections. It was busy, not crowded, and there were plenty of machines, so the line moved fast. People were respectful, wore masks and kept 6 feet apart.

It was a good experience.  

Andrew Gifford and his "I Voted" sticker.
Credit Andrew Gifford
Andrew Gifford and his partner voted early in Franklin County.

Andrew Gifford from Columbus

My voting experience was good overall. I received my absentee ballot within the first few days of it being sent out. I filled it out and returned it on Monday (10/12) via the drop box at the Franklin County Board of Elections (they had a drive-thru service with volunteers set-up to accommodate the crowd).

My partner opted to vote in-person that same day, so he waited in line following my drop-off and he was done within an hour of getting in line.

Max Vore from Ohio State University

As an out-of-state student here at OSU, I'm voting by absentee ballot for the elections back home in Austin, Texas. My voting experience has been slow and methodical so far. I initially requested an application for a ballot by mail back in early August, however, my on-campus address changed so I had to submit another application with an updated on-campus address later in August. After my second application was approved, I've been researching, promoting, and even donating to some of the candidates I am planning on voting for.

On October 5th, the Travis County Clerk sent out the absentee ballots and I received my blue voting envelope this past week. I'm currently in the process of making my selections for all of the offices that I haven't been able to research yet. I hope to put my envelope in the mail by the end of this upcoming weekend in order to ensure that my vote is counted. I'm disappointed that Texas is limiting ballot boxes where those eligible for a ballot by mail can deliver them in-person to one per county, but I'm further concerned with the deadline discrepancies between the county and the USPS for when I should submit my ballot by in order to ensure it reaches the Clerk's office in time.

Although I should be giving myself enough time, the constantly evolving situation the USPS has been in recently makes me less certain that I can count on my ballot arriving when it should. Luckily, I'm able to keep track of when the Clerk's office receives my ballot through a tracker on their website, but I won't comfortable saying my vote has been counted until that box turns green on the County Clerks' website.

In this Oct. 10, 2018, file photo, a voter casts their ballot on the first day of early voting at the Hamilton County Board of Elections in Cincinnati.
Credit John Minchillo / Associated Press

This week, Letters From Home is continuing to ask the question: How has your voting experience been?

Answer this question using the form below, and try to keep below 1,000 words. Your response may be edited for length and clarity.

WOSU brings you Letters from Home in partnership with the Columbus Museum of Art.
WOSU brings you Letters from Home in partnership with the Columbus Museum of Art.