League of Women Voters work to help people to register to vote

Tables set up at libraries in Summit County with information on registering, requesting an absentee ballot and more

April Helms
Kent Weeklies
Marti Franks, left, helps Alex Lomaka of Twinsburg double check his voter registration information.

Anyone visiting a library Tuesday may have noticed a table set up, with people at the table offering to help with voter registration, requesting an absentee ballot and even assistance with the online census.

Evie Kremyar, a librarian with the Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library, said early in the first shift that so far, those passing by the table said they were already registered to vote.

“Which is good,” Kremyar said, and she gave a thumbs up sign.

In all, seven community organizations and six library systems hosted Summit County National Voter Registration Day, with 19 area libraries as the site for drive-through and walk-up voter registration. The County of Summit, Akron Beacon Journal, League of Women Voters of Hudson, League of Women Voters of Akron Area, Ohio Votes, Akron NAACP, AkronVotes, and United Way of Summit County worked with Akron-Summit County Public Library, Barberton Public Library, Cuyahoga Falls Public Library, Hudson Library & Historical Society, Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library, and Twinsburg Public Library.

Cynthia Peeples of the League of Women Voters of Hudson said that the LWV was still collecting information on how many people registered on Wednesday.

“I think voting is a civic responsibility,” said Charlotte Onderick of Stow, a member of League of Women Voters of Hudson and one of the volunteers for the registration effort at the Stow-Munroe Falls library. “People have fought and died for this right. Women, especially, need to exercise their right. We’ve only had the vote for 100 years.”

LWVH member Rosalind Robertson, a Hudson resident who was volunteering at the Hudson Library and Historical Society, said early in the afternoon that while the volunteers there hadn’t registered anyone to vote at that point, they still were “giving out a lot of information.”

Beverly Dorson, who lives in Hudson, said that the afternoon was a great effort involving the libraries and several community organizations.

At the Twinsburg Public Library, there was a place where cars could drive up and request information, register or even just ask questions about the elections or the census. In the afternoon, a couple of registrations were filled out, including at least one for a newly-eligible voter.

“We didn’t have a large crowd, but the library set us up well,” said Marti Franks of Reminderville. “Some people came by, including a poll observer who came over to see how we were. Some people came by to say thanks or to see how things were going.”

Pat Simons of the League of Women Voters in Hudson said that having the informational tables was a good public service because the volunteers could help people fill out the registrations and requests for an absentee ballot.

“People are confusing the request for an absentee ballot for the ballot,” Simons said. “We also can check the forms for errors. An error on the absentee ballot request could delay the process of getting a ballot out to someone.”

One common mistake was putting today’s date instead of someone’s birthday, Simons said.

“Another one is people will misread ‘county’ as ‘country,’” Simons said. “I see this a lot with younger voters.”

Simons said she recommended people requesting an absentee ballot include either a phone number or email address, which can be added at the bottom in the space provided for that information.

“They will call you” if there is an issue,  Simons said.

It’s estimated that 75% or more will request an absentee ballot in Summit County, Simons said. As a result, she said that the Summit County Board of Elections is planning to hire extra people to handle the anticipated volume of absentee ballots expected. The Summit County Board of Elections also has been working with the United States Postal Service to make sure that ballots sent through the mail get through.

At the Nordonia Hills branch library, Jenn Tomak, 17, of Northfield Center, Alayah Davis, 16, of Northfield Center, and Taniah Thomas, 17, of Sagamore Hills were ending the day volunteering for the National Voter Registration Day. All three are students at Nordonia High School.

“It was slow, but it was good,” said Tomak, who added that three people registered to vote while they were volunteering.

Thomas said that she found out about the opportunity through school.

“I was sent an email by our counselor asking us to volunteer,” said Thomas, who added that she will be 18 soon and is already registered to vote.

“We wanted to do this anyway,” Tomak added. “It’s so important to register to vote. If you aren’t registered, you can’t vote, and if you can’t vote, you are unrepresented.”

For details on the upcoming elections, visit http://www.lwvhudsonoh.org/, https://www.vote411.org/ or https://www.summitcountyboe.gov/ online.

Important dates

  • Sept. 30- Deadline to fill out the Census form.
  • Oct. 5- Deadline for voter registration
  • Oct. 6- Absentee ballots mailed
  • Oct. 6-Nov. 2- Absentee voting by mail, and early in-person voting
  • Oct. 31- Deadline to request an absentee ballot
  • Nov. 2- Deadline to postmark absentee ballots
  • Nov. 3- Election Day. Polls are open 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Absentee ballots must be received at the Summit County Board of Elections by 7:30 p.m.

Reporter April Helms can be reached at ahelms@recordpub.com