Voters Are Returning Absentee Vote-By-Mail Ballots at a Higher Rate Than 2018 While Early In-Person Voting Continues Its Fast Pace
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced today that requests for early in-person and absentee ballots now total 1,243,505, a 2.6 percent increase over the same point in the 2018 gubernatorial statewide election. As a part of that total, 265,062 Ohioans have now voted early in-person and 978,443 have requested an absentee ballot by mail. Among Ohioans who requested to vote absentee, 56.5% have already returned their ballot, an increase from 53.9% at the same point in the last gubernatorial election. Overall, 817,644 Ohioans have already cast their ballot, up from 736,464 in 2018.
NOTE: Unofficial data reported to the Ohio Secretary of State by the 88 county boards of elections is subject to revision.
Over the course of the early voting period, Ohio voters benefit from nearly 200 hours of early voting opportunities for the 2022 General Election. Ohio is one of 19 states that allows voting on a Saturday and one of just six states that allows early voting on a Sunday. Ohio’s early voting period is 21 percent longer than the national average.
With just a few days until Election Day, Secretary LaRose made an important recommendation for voters still determining their voting plan.
“While Ohio law allows voters to wait until this Saturday to request an absentee ballot, that just doesn’t give our bipartisan county boards of elections much time for their security check, processing, and delivery of the ballot to the voter’s mailbox before Election Day,” said LaRose. “With that in mind, voters should be focusing right now on utilizing Ohio’s extended evening and weekend early voting options or casting their ballot on Election Day so they can be sure their voice is heard.”
Voters can learn more about requesting and casting an absentee ballot at VoteOhio.gov. As a reminder, voters who choose to vote by mail must have it postmarked by no later than Monday, November 7th. If a voter chooses to return their absentee ballot in person, they must do so to their county board of elections no later than 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. Ohio law does not allow absentee ballots to be returned to a polling location on Election Day.
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/.
Absentee voting in Ohio is time-tested and has strong security checks in place.
Ohioans have utilized absentee voting for 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 provably rare. Learn more about how Ohio keeps our elections secure by visiting ElectionSecurity.Ohio.gov.
Ohioans can learn more about Ohio’s absentee ballot process by watching our short video, Life of An Absentee Ballot.
Voters should consider these best practices when they choose the absentee ballot 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 boards 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 after the election at your county board of elections, your vote will be tabulated.
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