COLUMBUS, Ohio — With the 2020 election less than two months away, the state of Ohio’s “Ready for November Task Force” hosted a virtual meeting Thursday morning to discuss the state's plan for the November election amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the special guests during the meeting was Jason McClure, the Vice President and General Manager of Cedar Point. He was brought into the conversation to provide insight about how the Sandusky amusement park has effectively managed lines this summer with social distancing measures in place. The task force listened to his comments to determine if any of the park's safety strategies might work at polling places throughout the state this fall.
“We found that most of our guests don’t have a problem social distancing, but they forget about it," McClure told the task force. "It’s not been our human nature for a long time to put these social distancing requirements in place, so they forget. They get excited and they get closer together. So we put a lot of visual cues in place.”
McClure said consistent reminders are key to making sure guests don't forget to follow the COVID-19 safety precautions. He said Cedar Point uses signage and audio messages, but employees are the park's most effective method.
“Really the best way is our team," McClure said. "When our team is able to remind a guest nicely and politely. … ‘Please remember while you’re waiting in line to follow line markings in the queue.'"
He added that Cedar Point staff is also trained to be prepared for guests who may have a different reaction to the COVID-19 policies, which he compared to the voting process.
We streamed the meeting online, which you can watch in full below:
“You’re definitely going to run into different personalities and people that approach these things differently. So we always talk about being respectful, but also having to hold people accountable. When you visit Cedar Point, just like voting, you’re not here by yourself. … Everybody’s in this together. I know that’s the phrase that we hear on and on, but it’s really true in these communal experiences. If everyone is going to enjoy the park, then everybody has to work together to follow the guidelines for health and safety that’s out there. I think it’s the same thing for voting. We have to be respectful when we remind people of what our policies are and those requirements, but it’s important that we do reinforce it and hold our guests accountable in that way.”
LaRose also asked about the impact of using informative visual distraction while guests are waiting in line.
“That digital screen is definitely a useful distraction whether it’s something fun or information," McClure said. "The ones that we use in our queue lines, we try to mix it up with those kind of messages. This year we remind people of all the safety and health protocols that are in place, but then we provide some behind-the-scenes video, or sometimes it’s just a music video; different things to kind of take peoples’ minds off the fact that they’re waiting in line.”
Earlier this week, LaRose’s office announced that absentee ballot request forms were starting to arrive in mailboxes for all registered voters in the state.
Still need to register to vote? You can do that HERE. The deadline is Oct. 5.
The 2020 general election takes place Tuesday, Nov. 3. Will you be voting in-person or absentee? Tell us in the post below: