I voted early this year! I initially was going to vote on election day, but when Covid cases went up on my campus, I was worried that I’d be kicked off due to the Covid risk before I was able to vote, and I’m only registered to vote in my college state (Ohio), not my home state (Massachusetts). Since Ohio is a swing state, and since Massachusetts always swings one way (which is the way that I vote), I figured my vote matters more in Ohio, so I decided to vote early while I knew I was still on campus.
I got a ride from my friend to the Licking County Administration Building in Newark, Ohio, which is where the county seat is. It was about a ten minute ride, as Denison is fairly close. I arrived at around 3 pm on a Monday, and I was worried there might be a long line. But surprisingly, there wasn’t!
I had to meet with someone before I was actually able to vote, where they checked my ID (my Massachusetts driver’s license worked fine), asked me the last four digits of my SSN, and then printed out a sheet for me to take into the room where I’d actually vote. I had my mask on, of course, and so did everyone else, fortunately.
Before I went into the voting room, I was asked to take a small stylus that was in a little plastic cup full of other styluses (styli?). I was surprised, as I’d never seen a bunch of disposable styluses (styli???) before, but I realized why they were there: sanitary reasons. If everyone used styluses (styli??????????) on the screens, then germs wouldn’t spread so easily, and it would reduce any Covid risk the room–and the voters–might bring and have.
Once I went in, I picked a machine, inserted my paper, and got started! It took me a little more than five minutes to fill out my ballot, and once I was done, I got a receipt printed. I was asked to take my receipt to another machine that scanned it, and then I was all done! I got a sticker and I was happy to get the “I [image of Ohio] voting” sticker (because, ya know, the state of Ohio looks kinda like a heart?). Then I headed back to campus and that was that. I got an email from Denison’s voting committee letting me know my ballot was received maybe a day later.
I’m really glad I voted early, because that meant I wouldn’t have had to wait in a super long line on election day. I’m also glad the location I went to operated quickly, efficiently, and with the health guidelines obeyed and enforced. So if you’re still not sure whether to vote early or on election day, I highly recommend you vote early too!