People from several Cincinnati congregations met Aug. 22 on Zoom to draft a strategy to help people overcome three big hurdles to safe voting and making sure their votes are counted: the danger of coronavirus, lapsed registrations, and postal delays. This outreach is grounded in the neighbor love and commitment to dignity embodied in our Baptismal vows.

We suggest you post these safe, successful voting tips below via social media, yard signs, and flyers distributed through food pantries and other social service programs.

1. Help people verify registration via voteohio.gov.  If the voter is not on the rolls, she/he can use the same site to register or update registration.  Don’t forget to register teenagers who will be 18 by Election Day, Nov. 3.

2. Encourage people to vote early in person at their county Board of Elections.  Early voting begins Oct. 6.  Publicize the location, and the times and days your BOE will be open for early voting and remind the community frequently of this option starting Oct. 6.  Lines are usually short and people can vote within a few minutes, especially early in the month.  Risk of exposure to coronavirus should be small, and this option prevents the danger of absentee ballot requests and completed ballots being delayed in the mail.

3. Provide absentee ballot request forms for those who prefer absentee voting. Help people complete them and offer to drop them off at the Board of Elections. A box of forms near the church sign, food pantries, big box store parking lots, and other places people normally go are excellent options for outdoor tabling. During September you can combine this with voter registration assistance either via smart phone or paper forms. You can encourage people to fill out registration and absentee ballot request forms. They can be submitted at the same time. Volunteers are allowed to deliver registration forms and absentee ballot requests, but not completed ballots.

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Submitted by Ariel Miller, Ascension and Holy Trinity, Wyoming