Ohio Is a Leader in Secure Absentee Voting
Nearly two decades of casting ballots by mail has allowed Ohio to establish a secure early voting process
Now more than ever, Ohioans need safe and secure options to cast their ballot. Whether they are voting in-person on election day, early at their county board of elections, or making their voice heard through the mail, Ohio has become a national model for election security.
Absentee voting in Ohio is time-tested and has strong security checks in place.
Ohioans have utilized absentee voting for nearly two decades, and that has allowed Ohio to put in place both the laws and processes necessary to make absentee voting secure against fraud.
- Voter identification and signature are checked TWICE during the process
- Voter list maintenance allows for accurate voter rolls
- Ballot harvesting is against the law in Ohio
- Voters able to track their ballot on VoteOhio.gov/Track
These requirements and processes, as well as strict laws against voter fraud, have made absentee voting secure in Ohio and instances of voter fraud exceedingly rare.
Making it easy to request your absentee ballot
Since 2012, Ohio has mailed absentee ballot request forms to registered voters in every even-year general election. Only after that application is verified by the bipartisan teams at a county board of elections is a ballot mailed to a voter. Secretary LaRose has long been an advocate of a secure online ballot request system, but the legislature has not yet moved forward to authorize it.
Sharing Best Practices for Using the Absentee Ballot Option
- Doublecheck the information on your form. Review your ballot request and ballot to ensure you have filled it out properly, including writing the appropriate date, providing your required identifying information, and signing the form.
- Include your e-mail and/or phone number. For the first time in a general election, county board of elections will be calling or e-mailing voters who may need to remedy information on their ballot request form or absentee ballot envelope. Including your information will ensure you can be reached if your ballot request doesn’t have everything filled out properly.
- Don’t wait. Because of processing at the county board of elections and the time necessary for the United States Postal Service to deliver elections mail, voters should not procrastinate – fill out and mail your absentee ballot request as soon as possible.
- Track your ballot. Once their ballot request is received by their county board of elections, voters may track their ballot at VoteOhio.gov/Track. As long as your ballot is postmarked by the day before the election and received within 10 days after the election at your county board of elections, your vote will be tabulated.
Drop boxes will be used for the first time ever in a General Election.
This spring, Ohio legislators approved allowing election mail to be deposited in drop boxes outside of county boards of elections for the first time. The temporary law, now expired, was within the confines of Ohio Revised Code 3509.05 which states:
The elector shall mail the identification envelope to the director from whom it was received in the return envelope, postage prepaid, or the elector may personally deliver it to the director, [….]. The return envelope shall be transmitted to the director in no other manner, except as provided in section 3509.08 of the Revised Code.
While Secretary LaRose certainly would like to see an expansion of drop boxes at locations other than county boards of elections, it’s implicitly clear that legislation is required to allow it. Without that legislation, and in the hope of providing voters with the certainty they require ahead of the fall election, the Secretary has directed boards to make the drop boxes which are located at their county boards of elections available 24 hours a day beginning September 1. The drop boxes must be monitored at all times and its contents retrieved every single day.
Ohioans can learn more about voting absentee by visiting VoteOhio.gov.