Voter Registration Deadline is Today; Early Voting Begins Tomorrow
With the distribution of ballots to Ohio’s military and overseas voters over the weekend, Ohio’s May 3rd primary is off and running.
“Ohio’s elections are secure, they’re accurate, and they’re more accessible than they’ve ever been,” said Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose. “Ohioans should know that your neighbors, the bipartisan election officials that work in your county board of elections, have been working overtime to make sure we’re ready to go. Now it’s your turn to make a voting plan and ensure your voice is heard on May 3rd.”
Ohio voters may cast their ballot in one of three ways: 1) early in-person; 2) vote-by-mail; or 3) on Election Day.
The deadline is today for eligible Ohioans to register to vote or update their registration. Each can be done completely online at VoteOhio.gov. Additionally, every county board of elections will be open until 9:00pm tonight for anyone who chooses to register in-person.
Early in-person voting begins tomorrow at 8:00am. Ohio voters will enjoy nearly 200 hours of early voting this primary season. Ohio is one of 22 states that allow voting on a Saturday and one of just six states that allow early voting on a Sunday. You can find the entire early voting schedule on VoteOhio.gov.
Voters may also choose to vote by mail. Learn how to request your absentee ballot at VoteOhio.gov. Of the 42 states that run a traditional absentee voting system, a comprehensive review by the Brookings Institute determined no state does it better than Ohio. SOURCE: www.brookings.edu/research/voting-by-mail-in-a-pandemic-a-state-by-state-scorecard/.
Voters should consider these best practices when they choose the vote-by-mail option:
- Fill in the information properly. Review the form to ensure you have filled it out properly, including writing your date of birth where required, not the day’s date, as well as signing your request form.
- Include your e-mail and/or phone number. 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.
- Double check your return envelope. Before you submit your ballot request form, make sure the envelope is addressed to your county board of elections.
- 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 (20 days for UOCAVA voters) 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 can 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 are exceedingly rare.
Ohio voters will find the following races on their primary ballot:
- Attorney General
- Auditor of State
- Secretary of State
- Treasurer of State
- Ohio Supreme Court
- U.S. Senate
- U.S. Representative to Congress
- Additional Judicial and municipal candidates
The offices of State Senator, State Representative, and Member of State Central Committee will not appear on the May 3 Primary Election ballot.
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