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What Happens If There Are Power Outages On Election Day?

Jo Ingles

On Election Day two years ago, wind gusts knocked out power for at least part of the day in four Northeast Ohio counties. What happens if there are more power outages on Election Day this year when voter turnout is expected to be higher than usual?

In 2018, counties were able to move voters to areas within polling places where there was electricity and some had generators on hand. Paper ballots were used as a backup. But this year, with COVID voting in place, the protocols could be different.

Maggie Sheehan with Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s office said there isn’t one statewide plan for power outages. In an email, she said it was up to the 88 county boards of elections to come up with their own plans for how they’d handle an electrical outage on Election Day.  

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.