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Voting officials expecting unusually busy August election today

| August 8, 2023
Entrance at the Tuscarawas County Board of Elections office in New Philadelphia

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Aug. 8, 2023) – Tuscarawas County voting officials have been getting all set for today’s special election.

The ballot only features State Issue One, which, if passed, would make it more difficult for voters to amend the Ohio Constitution in the future.

Board of Elections Director Gail Garbrandt says voters should do their homework before heading to the polls.

“There’s so much information out there, and there’s a lot of MIS-information out there as well,” she said.

Numerous people hoping to cast ballots showed up to the Board of Elections Monday unaware that early voting is no longer offered the day before an election in Ohio.

Garbrandt says more than 4,700 ballots were cast in-person or absentee during the month-long early voting period that ended Sunday. That’s out of about 59,000 registered voters in the county.

“For a special election, in August, that’s really high considering,” she said. “Last August I think our total turnout was only six thousand.”

Garbrandt says she’s anticipating that interest to carry into election day as well.

“There are a lot of folks who are traditional voters that part of the election is going to that polling place and seeing their friends and neighbors and casting their ballot,” she said.

But Garbrandt says she doesn’t expect any long waits at the polls with only one issue up for vote.

Despite some initial worries about putting together an August election on short notice, Garbrandt says they’ll be all right.

“We’re fortunate because our poll workers are here in the summer,” she said.

Garbrandt says all polling locations in the county will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. today.  Voters will need to bring a valid photo ID or a passport.

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