Voters across Ohio, including Fulton County, can cast ballots on the three weekend days before the Nov. 6 general election.
Melanie Gilders, director of the Fulton County Board of Elections, said the office will be open Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 3-4, for early voting.
In the last presidential election in 2008, some boards of election in the state were open the Sunday before Election Day.
The Fulton County office was closed.
Jon Husted, Ohio Secretary of State, tried to block early voting on the weekend prior, stating he wanted all Ohio Boards of Election to hold the same hours in 2012.
The Campaign To Reelect Barack Obama U.S. President went to court to restore early voting hours. The campaign argued that because Ohio offers early voting to members of the U.S. military, it should be extended to all citizens.
Eventually, the issue went to the United States Sixth District Court of Appeals, which restored early voting for all. The United States Supreme Court refused to grant a stay of the Sixth District’s order.
Husted said in a statement Tuesday, Oct. 16, “The time has come to set aside the issue for this election,” tablished early voting hours.
The Fulton County Board of Elections office will be open from 8 am to 6 pm, Friday, Nov. 2; 8 am to 2 pm, Saturday, Nov. 3; 1 to 5 pm, Sunday, Nov. 4; and 8 am to 2 pm, Monday, Nov. 5.
“We have always been open on the Saturday before the election,” said Gilders.
“We would be here until noon because of the deadline for absentee ballot applications.
“We would accept applications by mail. Anything in our mail at noon, we would mail out ballots,” she said.
It is the first time in recent memory the Fulton County board office is open on Sunday.
To vote early, a person must report to the Board of Elections office in the Wauseon Courthouse Plaza and fill out an absentee ballot application.
“Even if you come into the office, you have to go through the application process,” Gilders said.
But, she said, those who come in to vote early can fill out the application and vote in one day, in one visit.
So far, there have been 3,700 applications for absentee voting, either in person or by mail.
Most have been by mail.
“I would say we’re pretty much on track with four years ago,” she said.