WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – There was a special delivery Wednesday in Trumbull County that makes it possible for voters to drop off their ballots for the primary election at any time of the day or night.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trumbull County Board of Elections is closed to the public. However, there’s still a place in the foyer for voters to turn in absentee ballots during normal business hours.
Now they’ll be able to drop them off whenever they want with a locked box on the walkway outside of the building.
“It’s really important, mostly to help the voters so they have somewhere to drop their ballots and their applications 24 hours a day. It’s also mandated,” said Stephanie Penrose, director of the Trumbull County Board of Elections.
Representative Michael O’Brien said he first asked the post office to use a mailbox but because of their regulations, they couldn’t provide one.
The 24-hour drop-off box was installed Wednesday afternoon — but the people who crafted it may surprise you.
O’Brien turned to the Trumbull Correctional Institution, which had inmates build the box.
“As the theme is, we’re all in this together. Now the prisoners are enabling it to be easier for the board of elections to secure the ballots that are important for this primary election,” O’Brien said.
The drop box is double-locked with a Democrat in charge of one key and a Republican in charge of the other.
“We can’t open it without the other so everything here is done bipartisan, including emptying the drop box,” Penrose said.
All ballots for the election are due by 7:30 p.m. on April 28.