COLUMBUS – Today, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced that every registered Ohio voter will soon be receiving an absentee ballot request form. Funding for the mailing must be approved by the Ohio General Assembly, which granted the appropriation earlier this year.
The mailing of absentee voter applications – not absentee ballots – to all registered voters during gubernatorial and presidential election cycles has been standard practice for more than a decade. In all, nearly 8 million registered Ohio voters will receive the absentee voter application.
Unlike other states that recklessly send a ballot to every voter even if they did not request one, Ohio requires a voter to prove their identity when they request a ballot and again when they return that ballot.
Ohioans who choose to vote by absentee ballot must return their request form to their county board of elections to receive the absentee ballot for the November 8 general election. In the absentee ballot request instructions, Secretary LaRose recommends voters submit their request as quickly as possible to ensure the U.S. Postal Service has adequate time to process their absentee voting request.
“Ohioans are blessed to have three convenient and secure options to choose from when they cast their ballot in the November general election,” said Secretary LaRose. “If you’re voting by mail, you have the added convenience of sitting at the kitchen table, researching the candidates, and making a well-informed decision. The best part? Voters can have confidence that Ohio’s long and proven track record of running a secure absentee ballot system will protect the integrity of their vote.”
By getting their ballot request forms in early, voters will ease the burden on the county boards of elections staff who are expecting a significant influx of election mail, as well as the postal workers in their communities who are working to ensure that absentee ballots are delivered on time.
The first round of the mailing includes all voters currently registered in the state of Ohio. An additional round consists of Ohioans who are not currently registered to vote, but who do so prior to the October 11 registration deadline.
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.
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. Continuing a successful practice from the 2020 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 more than 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.