Election 2016: an important piece of mail will arrive soon
September 30, 2016
Whether your choice is Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump at the top of the ticket, or whether it is Doug Clyde or Colin DeFord, two of the Summit County Council competitors down ballot, the time to vote is quickly approaching.
Although Election Day itself, Nov. 8, is more than a month away, the first opportunity to make your decision will come in just a few weeks. The Summit County Clerk's Office says the vote-by-mail ballots will be sent on Oct. 18 and are expected to arrive in mailboxes two or three days later.
The vote-by-mail option, seen as an opportunity to increase turnout numbers through its convenience, will likely be a popular option this year, as more people become comfortable that their ballots will be counted and be kept secret. The return mail-in ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 7. Someone may also drop off a ballot they received through the mail at the Summit County Clerk's Office at the County Courthouse, at a polling station on Election Day or at one of the designated drop-box locations. Voters, of course, may also cast ballots at a polling location on Election Day.
The ability to cast a ballot two-plus weeks prior to the day of the election is welcome, but it also requires someone to pay special attention to the candidates and the issues since a vote could be cast well before Election Day.
Someone must also decide whether they are so attached to a candidate that they do not need to monitor the final days of the campaign, with the possibility of an October surprise in a contest for the County Courthouse, Statehouse, Congress or the White House.
A voter casting a ballot as soon as they get one in the mail also would have already sealed their decision by the time the final campaign financial reports are filed. A financial report at that late point in the election cycle might not influence a voter to change their support, but the donor list could be an intriguing piece of information as someone dwells on a decision.
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It will be important to check your mail daily for a ballot in a few weeks. And it will be even more important to send it back prior to Election Day.