Election 2020 Process Outlined By Senator Nickie J. Antonio
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of our daily lives; what we wear, where we go, and who we can visit- but it does not change your vital role in our democracy. With the 2020 General Election right around the corner, it is important to be aware of upcoming deadlines and processes to make your vote count and your voice heard.
Before heading to the polls on November 3, 2020, you must be registered to vote. The deadline to register to vote for this election is October 5, 2020. To register, you will need your Ohio driver’s license or Ohio identification card number, name, date of birth, address, and the last four digits of your social security number. If you have recently moved, you will need to update your voting address. Last year, the Ohio Secretary of State’s office purged thousands of citizens from voter rolls. Some of these names were removed in error, so even if you have not moved and you have previously voted, you should verify your voter registration out of an abundance of caution.
The unpredictable nature of a global pandemic makes the possibility of in-person voting unclear for many. To be safe, you can vote by mail. To do so, you will need to complete and mail an absentee ballot application to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections at 2925 Euclid Ave Cleveland, OH 44115. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is three days before the election, but it is highly recommended that requests are submitted as soon as possible. Once you receive your ballot in the mail, you will need to return it to the board of elections, which can be done by mail or in person. When mailing the completed ballot, it must be postmarked no later than the day before the election (November 2, 2020) and received no later than ten days after the election. You can also deliver your ballot in person prior to 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.
Election Day 2020 will look different, but you too can help the process run smoothly by signing up to be a poll worker if you are less vulnerable to the virus. Many of our older Election Day volunteers will be unable to help in November due to Covid-19 related risks, so it is a great time for young people to sign up as paid poll workers through the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.
While this election will present new challenges, we must remember that our foremothers and fathers fought for our right to vote and make our voice heard. This is an important time to participate in our democracy.
State Senator Nickie J. Antonio is honored to be serving in her first elected term in the Ohio Senate District 23, following 8 years of service in the Ohio House of Representatives, 13th House District with 5 of those years serving in leadership as Minority Whip. Antonio has also served as Lakewood City Councilmember, Executive Director of an outpatient drug/alcohol treatment program for women and teacher for children with special needs. Antonio serves as Highest Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Transportation and Joint Medicaid Oversight Committees. She also serves on the Finance Subcommittee on Health, and Ways and Means Committees. She is also a member of the Ohio House Democratic Women's Caucus—previously serving as chair—and is the State Director for the Women Legislators’ Lobby. She has been a dedicated champion of workers’ rights, high-quality education, our local governments, equal rights for women and the LGBT community, healthcare for all and fighting the opioid crisis. Antonio is recognized as a leader who reaches across the aisle to get things done. As a result, she has worked to pass legislation such as Ohio’s historic adoption open records law (SB 23/HB 61) and a step therapy reform law (SB 265/HB 72). During each of her four terms in office, Antonio has introduced the Ohio Fairness Act (now SB11), to provide civil rights protections for members of the LGBT community, as well as an end to Ohio’s use of the death penalty and an array of other bills focused on improving the lives of all Ohioans. Antonio continues to be an established expert in health policy in the General Assembly. The first in her family to graduate from college, she holds both MPA and B.S.Ed. Degrees from Cleveland State University and was named a CSU Distinguished Alumni in 2013. She is also an alumnus and Bohnett fellow of the Kennedy School Harvard Leadership Program (2011). Daughters Ariel and Stacey have made Antonio and wife Jean Kosmac, very proud as the girls engage in their adult life journeys.