Events in Ravenna, Aurora, Kent to focus on voting changes

Portage County voters can find out how changes in Ohio election laws will affect them at three public meetings on March 27, 29 and 30 in Ravenna, Aurora and Kent.

The March 27 meeting will start at 7 p.m. at Reed Memorial Library, 167 E. Main St., Ravenna. A second meeting will take place at 7 p.m. March 29 at the Aurora City Council Chambers, 130 S. Chillicothe Road, Aurora. The final meeting will be at 7 p.m. March 30 at Kent Free Library, 312 W. Main St., Kent.

All meetings are free and open to the public.

The meetings were organized by the League of Women Voters of Kent and the League of Women Voters of Northern Portage with co-sponsorship from the Kent Free Library, Reed Memorial Library, Brimfield Lions, NAACP of Portage County, Kent Environmental Council, Portage County National Alliance on Mental Illness, Kent Lions and Kent State University Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

The speaker will be Theresa Nielsen, deputy director of the Portage County Board of Elections. Nielsen will talk about changes to in-person voting, voter registration, early voting, which is also known as absentee voting, and other changes in the new law that went into effect in January. The biggest changes affect the types of identifications that can be used to vote and which vary, depending on how citizens choose to vote.

The leagues will have forms available to apply for an absentee ballot and to register to vote. The deadline to register is April 3. Absentee voting applications can be submitted at any time, but applications must be in the hands of the Board of Elections by April 25 so voters can receive their ballots. Absentee ballots are mailed out starting April 4.

Early in-person voting at the Board of Elections begins April 4, and includes the Saturday and Sunday before Election Day. The schedule for in-office absentee voting has changed, with the elimination of voting at the Board of Elections the day prior to the election.

Voters also will be able to check at the meeting on whether they are still registered. More than 1,600 Portage County voters were purged from the rolls this year by the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office.

This article originally appeared on Record-Courier: Events in Ravenna, Aurora, Kent to focus on voting changes