A Note from Secretary LaRose:
A lot sure has changed over the past month. While just a few weeks ago we were working with the Ohio Department of Health to put steps in place to have a safe and healthy in-person election, today we’re running an unprecedented effort to make sure every registered Ohioan has the opportunity to vote by mail.
As I’m sure you know by now, the voting deadline of April 28th is just around the corner, and our team, along with the bipartisan election officials at our 88 boards of elections are putting in long hours to ensure our modified election runs as smoothly as possible; and we wouldn’t be where we are without the incredible partnerships of over 100 organizations and businesses from across Ohio.
Our state has become a model over the course of the coronavirus crisis, and our elections are certainly no different. We’ve reacted swiftly, efficiently, and effectively – and we are getting it done using an all-hands-on-deck approach. I hope we can count on you to continue spreading the word!
This is the message voters need to know:
- The time is NOW to request a ballot. Don’t wait.
- Learn how to get it done by visiting VoteOhio.gov.
- Make sure your ballot is postmarked before April 28th.
Thank you for voting, and stay safe!
Yours in service,
Getting The Word Out
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose launched a Public Service Announcement, featuring Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, that encourages Ohioans to vote by mail in the 2020 primary election. Stations are encouraged to air the PSA through the deadline for requesting vote-by-mail ballots on April 25th. You can download and share the PSA on your own social media by clicking here.
LaRose announced a list of community partners around the state that have joined together to help registered voters get the resources they need to vote-by-mail in the 2020 primary election. These organizations are working hard to educate voters, provide vote-by-mail applications to their specific audiences, and build awareness of Ohio’s vote-by-mail primary election. There is still time to help! If your organization wants to join our effort, contact Monique Cox-Moore at [email protected]
How You Can Help
Secretary LaRose introduced a social media tool-kit to help Ohioans more easily spread the word to their friends and family about how to request a vote-by-mail ballot and participate in the 2020 primary election. Pick out a graphic about the primary election from the toolkit and share it on your own social media.
Support Ohio Businesses or Start Your Own
Many Ohio businesses are going through a tough time during this pandemic. But it’s our unique and creative entrepreneurial spirit that drives us to be more resilient, despite the challenges. Certain aspects of our business services center have changed, but the Secretary of State’s Office still remains a gateway for businesses to start and prosper in Ohio. Submit a business filing online and find resources at OhioSoS.gov/Businesses.
We are #InThisTogetherOhio, so remember to support your local businesses.
Over 1 Million Ballots Requested
Secretary LaRose announced that 1,254,377 Ohioans have requested a vote-by-mail ballot for the Ohio primary election. 712,048 voters have already cast their ballot. Request you ballot today at VoteOhio.gov!
We Are The Gateway for Small Businesses
The Office of Small Business Relief is now open and supporting hundreds of thousands of small business throughout the state during this public health crisis.
Governor DeWine's Administration started this office to help businesses with the economic support they need during this hard time. Click here to learn more!
What To Look For on April 28th
Unlike previous elections which provided updates from precincts in each county throughout the evening, all 88 county boards of elections will provide a single release of results from their county on April 28th. These results will include all ballots received and counted through April 28th at 7:30 p.m.
It is very important to note that results reported in the evening of April 28th may very well change, as many mail-in ballots are expected to be received by the county boards of elections after 7:30 p.m. on April 28th.
Because voters have until 7:30 p.m. to physically drop off their ballots in a drop box located outside of each board office, boards will need to process those ballots and begin tabulation after 7:30 p.m. Boards have been directed to upload their results to the Secretary of State’s Office no later than 10:00 p.m. on April 28th.
Is My Vote Secure?
Vote-by-mail has been a part of Ohio’s elections going on two decades. That means Ohio has had time to implement safeguards that ensure the security of your vote-by-mail ballot. Here are just some of the ways we keep your ballot safe:
- One of the benefits of Ohio’s voter list maintenance process is that it increases the accuracy of the voter databases that are managed by Ohio’s county boards of elections. By removing abandoned registrations, it decreases the risk of fraud while increasing the efficiency of Ohio’s county boards.
- A vote-by-mail application must contain the voter’s signature and provide a required form of identification. The submission by the voter is then used by county election officials to compare to the signature and information on file at the board of elections.
- The voter is then sent a ballot with a sealable envelope. This envelope contains spaces for the voter’s signature and driver’s license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number. That information is again checked by election officials upon processing of the ballot.
- Voters can track their application and ballot throughout the entire process by visiting VoteOhio.gov.
- Once received by the county board of elections, ballots are stored securely under lock and key and can only be accessed by a Republican and Democratic election official who enter the room together.
- Ballot harvesting, the act of an individual or organization gathering absentee ballots for delivery, is illegal in Ohio. Only individuals, their families, or the United States Postal Service can transport a ballot to the county board of elections.
- Finally, upon completion of the election, a post-election audit is conducted to confirm the accuracy of the election.