Another curve to flatten: the absentee ballot curve

Thanks to Covid-19, the term “flatten the curve” rests at the forefront of our minds. As we head toward the November election, where we undoubtedly will find ourselves casting votes in the midst of a pandemic, there’s another curve that we need to flatten: the absentee ballot curve.

I’m encouraging all Heights Observer readers not only to print out your absentee ballot request form, but also to print out a few extra copies for your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers. Start having conversations now about the November election.

In a video conference with Ohio’s Ready for November Task Force, Ned Foley, director of the election law program at The Ohio State University’s Mortiz College of Law, said:

“We cannot procrastinate with respect to voting this year. This is not the year to wait. This is the year to be upfront about this. . . . meaning not everybody should apply for an absentee ballot at the last minute, because if you do, you’re going to swamp the capacity of your local election workers who are trying their best to meet the demand of what’s going to be a high turnout election. They can’t handle that demand just the way the hospitals couldn’t handle it if everyone turned up for a bed at the same time. So the Secretary [of State] said you’ll get a card around Labor Day to remind you if you haven’t done it already, but, as he said, you can do it now.”

Foley urges Ohioans to spread out ballot applications over a longer period of time by sending in absentee ballot request forms now.

Heights Libraries has ballot request forms available at all four of its branches, where they are located by the tax forms.

Alternatively, registered voters can go to the Ohio Secretary of State’s website ( and print out an absentee ballot request form.

Voters then mail the request forms to the county board of elections, then wait to receive the ballot. The website provides a Voter Toolkit where voters can track the status of their ballot requests, as well as their returned absentee ballots.

Nikki Newman

A Cleveland Heights resident since 2015, Nikki Newman is a graduate of the FutureHeights Leadership Workshop series and is a member of the FutureHeights Marketing Committee. She is a mom, wife, gardener, crafter, organizer, and local enthusiast.

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Volume 13, Issue 8, Posted 9:47 AM, 07.31.2020