LIMA—The Allen County Board of Elections has formally moved to the first floor of the Third District Court of Appeals building, right in time for the 2020 primary.
The new space, located in the former law library at 204 N. Main St., is larger and more accessible to the general public, who will begin casting ballots in this year’s presidential primary when Ohio’s early voting period opens on Wednesday, Feb. 19.
The move is years in the making.
Previously, the public had to find the basement in the Third District Court of Appeals.
“It was an inconvenience,” said Allen County Commissioner Greg Sneary.
Kathy Meyer, director of the Allen County Board of Elections, said there’s more room now to snake voters through the lobby, rather than up the stairs. Handicapped voters won’t have to worry about elevator problems anymore, now that the Board of Elections is located on the main level.
“The worst that will happen (now) is they might be outside for a few minutes,” Meyer said.
The move is just in time, as the Board of Elections is getting ready for a potentially busy year.
Turnout in a presidential election year typically ranges from 40% in a primary to 70% in the general election, based on past several presidential years, Meyer said.
By comparison, Meyer said only about 20% of voters show up in an average off-year election.
Voters must register by Tuesday, Feb. 18 to be eligible to participate in the primary election, which begins with absentee voting the following Wednesday. The Allen County Board of Elections will be open until 9 p.m. Feb. 18 to accommodate voters who wish to register in-person. Ohioans may also register to vote online.
Reach Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456.