COLUMBUS – Earlier this summer, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced every registered Ohio voter would receive an absentee ballot request form in the mail. Those request forms are arriving in mailboxes this week – one week ahead of schedule.
Ohioans who want to vote by absentee ballot must send their request form back to their county board of elections in order to receive an absentee ballot. In the absentee ballot request instructions, Secretary LaRose has recommended voters submit their request right away, but definitely no later than October 27th. Absentee ballots will be sent by the voter’s respective county board of elections beginning October 6th.
“Whether you’re voting on election day, early in-person, or taking advantage of the absentee request form arriving this week in your mailbox, Ohioans should know voting will be safe and secure in Ohio,” said LaRose. “With the convenience of voting from home comes a responsibility – don’t wait to make your voice heard. Get your ballot request form in the mail as soon as you can.”
By getting their ballot request forms in early, voters will ease the burden on both county boards of elections staff who are expecting a significant influx of election mail, as well as the postal workers in their community who are working to make sure it’s delivered on time.
The first round of the mailing included voters currently registered in the state of Ohio. There will be two more rounds of forms still to be mailed to Ohioans who register to vote through the October 5th registration deadline. The current estimated cost of the mailing is $1.1 million and is funded by federal CARES dollars.
Sharing Best Practices for Voters to Consider When 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. To accommodate necessary processing time at the county board of elections and the time required 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.
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 are 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.
Other interesting facts about this mailing
- Last week Secretary LaRose visited with the Ohioans who were producing this mailing. Click here to see the video.
- Our office is using informed delivery through USPS as another way to get the word out
- The mailing required 17 full-length tractor trailers to deliver to the USPS