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Butler, Warren election offices combating coronavirus concerns

The Ohio Secretary of State has directed the 88 county boards of elections on the precautions needed to take to prevent the spread of flu and viruses, including the coronavirus. Voting equipment will be regularly wiped with disinfecting cloths and hand sanitizer bottles will be available during in-office early voting and Election Day voting. Voters can also request absentee ballots to be mailed to their home. NICK GRAHAM/FILE
The Ohio Secretary of State has directed the 88 county boards of elections on the precautions needed to take to prevent the spread of flu and viruses, including the coronavirus. Voting equipment will be regularly wiped with disinfecting cloths and hand sanitizer bottles will be available during in-office early voting and Election Day voting. Voters can also request absentee ballots to be mailed to their home. NICK GRAHAM/FILE

Butler and Warren counties boards of elections are fighting the spread of the COVID-19 virus, commonly known as the coronavirus.

Elections offices around Ohio were directed by Secretary of State Frank LaRose last week, and again on Thursday, to wipe down voting-related equipment, like voting machines and the stylus used to sign the e-pollbook. Offices were provided with the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention information about preventing the spread of disease, said Secretary of State Press Secretary Maggie Sheehan.

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“In addition, our team has met with the Ohio (Emergency Management Agency), Ohio Department of Health and the governor’s office,” she said. “Our office will continue to work with our federal, state, and local partners to ensure Ohio is prepared this primary season.”

Butler and Warren county officials said they ordered multiple bottles of hand sanitizers for each poll location and disinfecting cloths to wipe down voting equipment and tools. Elections officials have reached out to poll workers to inform them of the precautions being taken.

“We have had several polling locations and pollworkers reach out to us asking what we are doing to keep them safe,” said Warren County Board of Elections Director Brian Sleeth.

Butler and Warren boards of elections officials are working with their respective county health departments, and officials are also reminding voters they can choose to vote by mail.

Butler County voters can call 513-887-3700 and Warren County voters can call 513-695-1358. Voters can also visit MyOhioVote.com to request an absentee ballot be mailed. Vote-by-mail ballots must be postmarked by March 16, but they can also be hand-delivered by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day, March 17, at the voter's board of elections office (not the polling location).

EARLY VOTING

Voters can request an absentee ballot to be mailed, but requests must be made by noon on March 14.

They must be postmarked by March 16, and you’ll need to request the post office to postmark your envelope. Vote-by-mail ballots can be hand-delivered to the board of elections by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day, March 17.

The Butler County Board of Elections is at 1802 Princeton Road, Hamilton. The Warren County Board of Elections is 520 Justice Drive, Lebanon.

Early voting hours at all Ohio elections offices are:

• 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays from Wednesday to March 6

• 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 7 and Saturday, March 14

• 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday, March 9, to Friday, March 13

• 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 15

• 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, March 16