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The General Election is on: LaRose Announces the Start of Voting for Military and Overseas Ohioans

Today, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced that voting for military and overseas Ohioans has begun for the November 8 general election. On Friday, roughly 3,000 Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) ballots were sent to our service men and women stationed abroad and Ohioans working overseas by our county boards of elections. The deadline for Ohioans to register to vote is October 11, and early voting begins October 12.

“As a combat veteran and current U.S. Army Reservist, I know firsthand how important it is to the service men and women bravely defending America’s interests overseas to remain engaged in the democratic process,” said LaRose. “Your voice matters back at home and your vote will shape the nation you are defending so honorably.”

The Federal Voting Assistance Program is affiliated with the U.S. Department of Defense and ensures all Service members, their eligible family members, and overseas citizens have the tools and resources to exercise their right to vote. Secretary LaRose encourages any eligible overseas voter with questions about the process to visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program website at FVAP.gov, call the Ohio Secretary of State’s office at 614-466-2585, or e-mail him directly at [email protected]. Secretary LaRose is a U.S. Special Forces Green Beret combat veteran and current member of the U.S. Army Reserve.

The November 8 general election will include the Statewide executive offices of Governor, Attorney General, Auditor, Secretary of State, and Treasurer. Voters will also decide upon races for the U.S. Senate and House, the Ohio General Assembly, the Ohio Supreme Court, the state board of education, and local government races and issues.

Recognizing the complexities of voting from overseas, both federal and state law protect the right and ability for uniformed services and overseas U.S. citizens to vote by providing additional and adequate time for them to apply for and cast an absentee ballot. The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) and the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act are federal laws ensuring this right in federal elections, while the Ohio General Assembly has incorporated those federal protections into the Ohio Revised Code and extended them to state and local elections.

UOCAVA ballots may be returned by U.S. Postal Service, APO/FPO System, diplomatic pouch or another delivery service such as UPS or FedEx, or in person. An absentee ballot delivered in person must arrive at the board office by the close of polls on Election Day, November 8. Absentee ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than Election Day and must arrive at the board of elections office on or before the 10th day after the election.

As always, all necessary voting information is available online at the Ohio Secretary of State’s Voter Toolkit, VoteOhio.gov. Once there, Ohio voters can download the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), check their voter registration status, find their polling location, view their sample ballot and track the status of their absentee ballot.

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