Some local voters evidently have been told their votes are public record, according to Meredith Bodey, director of the Champaign County Board of Elections. She said concerned voters have been calling the board office because they were told a certain group knows how they voted.
“This is in no way possible. They can tell if you voted, but not how,” she said, adding, “If an individual wishes to take a ballot and not vote on anything, that is their personal choice to do so.”
Expressing concern about rumors, Bodey said: “It is public record if you vote and what style ballot (Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green or Issues Only) you request in a primary election. It is not known who you vote for or how you vote in any election.”
Voters who requested a partisan ballot in the May primary are listed under that party’s affiliation regardless of how they voted in the November general election.
Bodey said this rumor of individual vote disclosure is not the only problem this close to a very active election. She said the Ohio Republican Party mailed a “slate ticket” with incorrect information about how to return absentee ballots.
“You cannot return your ballot to your polling place,” she said. “Ballots returned to a polling place will not be counted.”
She said absentee ballots must be postmarked by Monday, Nov. 5, or returned in person to the Board of Elections before polls close at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6. Otherwise, they will not be counted.
“Every vote matters,” Bodey said. “Several races are expected to be very close.”
Bodey encourages those not voting with absentee ballots to learn where they can vote 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6 – Election Day. Visit the board website: https://champaign.ohioboe.com or call the office at 937-484-1575.
Reach Kathy Fox at 937-652-1331, ext. 1773.