Nothing more clearly announces the approach of an election than the appearance of candidate yard signs. Many candidates spend significant sums having yard signs produced and many hours getting them distributed.
Assessing the impact of yard signs is difficult. While it is highly doubtful that yard signs will determine the outcome of an election, there are some good reasons to believe that yard signs have an impact.
The most basic impact yard signs have is to increase name recognition. The more people see or hear a name, the more likely they are to vote for that candidate, particularly if the opposing candidate’s name is unfamiliar to them. Yard signs increase name recognition.
Another impact of yard signs is more subtle. There is research showing that, regardless of a person’s background, most people overtime will tend to vote in conformance with the patterns of their current community, even if that person voted differently when they lived in a different community. This makes yard signs particularly important in areas like ours where one party is dominant. The presence of yards signs for, say, Tim Ryan in a community tends to negate the implicit peer pressure that “everyone around here is voting for Vance.” At a minimum, the presence of our yard signs tells voters they will not be alone when they vote for Tim Ryan and Nan Whaley.
While yard signs will not, by themselves, swing an election, they can help pick up votes. Putting out a yard sign is an easy way to help our candidates, particularly if you live in a high traffic area. If you would like yard signs for our Democratic candidates, please leave us a voicemail at (513) 732-2378, e-mail us through our website clermontdems.org, or message us on Facebook at facebook.com/ClermontCountyDemocraticParty.
Election Day, Tuesday, November 8, is fast approaching. Voter registration for this election closes at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 11. If you are not registered to vote, you can register on the Ohio Secretary of State’s website at olvr.ohiosos.gov. Do it before October 11. If you are not absolutely sure whether you are registered to vote, or whether you are registered to vote at your current address, you can check your voter registration status at voterlookup.ohiosos.gov/voterlookup.aspx.
Early voting, both by mail and in person at the Board of Elections, starts October 12, 2022. All early voting is done by an “absentee ballot.” An absentee ballot is exactly the same as the ballot people get at the polling place on Election Day and counts exactly the same. You must request your absentee ballot in writing and that cannot be done online. Although absentee ballots cannot, by Ohio law, be sent to voters before October 12, the Board of Elections is accepting absentee ballot applications now. If you want to vote at home and send your ballot in to be counted, get that absentee ballot application in now!
The envelope containing your voted ballot must be postmarked no later than the day before the election. Please remember that dropping your ballot in a mailbox on the evening of November 7 does not mean that your ballot will be postmarked on November 7. Fill out and mail in your ballot as soon as you receive it. Your ballot must be received by the Board of Elections no later than November 18. If you are going to mail in your voted ballot, get that ballot in the mail to the Board of Elections by October 21.
If you do not want to trust your ballot to the tender mercies of the Postal Service, you can deliver your voted ballot, in its envelope, to the Board of Elections by placing it in the large while drop-box outside the Board office at 76 S. Riverside Drive, Batavia, Ohio 45103. Voted ballots can be put into the drop-box starting October 12. Your ballot is safe in the box. The box is emptied by a bipartisan team several times a day through 7:30 p.m. on November 8. The drop box is available 24/7.
Returning your voted ballot by putting it in the drop-box has a few limits.
First, the ballot must be in the drop-box by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. Absentee ballots cannot be taken to a polling place on Election Day.
Second, Ohio law says that only you or a family member may put your voted ballot in the drop-box. “Family member” includes your spouse, domestic partner, parents, siblings, children, and children-in-law. Your neighbors and friends who are not family members may not return your voted ballot. We expect that people will be watching this year, looking for opportunities to challenge ballots because the wrong person put them in the drop-box. I know this seems farfetched, but why take the risk?
Voting early is smart and can save you from standing in a line on Election Day. However, you are not finished voting early until your voted ballot is at the Board of Elections. Like the ads say, have a plan to do that.