Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I register to vote? How do I request an absentee ballot?
- Who may use the Federal Post Card Application?
- May someone else request an absentee ballot on my behalf?
- When may I apply for an absentee ballot?
- How do I submit my Federal Post Card Application?
- Where is my board of elections?
- How will I receive my absentee ballot?
- How can I find out what candidates and issues are on the ballot?
- How will I return my voted ballot? What is the deadline for return of the ballot?
- How do I know that my local board of elections received my voted absentee ballot?
- What happens if I mail a completed FPCA to my local board of elections, but do not receive my absentee ballot?
- When should I use a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB)?
- Why do I have to declare my party affiliation for primary elections?
- How can I find out the results of an election?
- What is “Vote in Honor of a Veteran” about?
How do I register to vote? How do I request an absentee ballot?
Registering to vote and applying for an absentee ballot are as simple as completing the FPCA form (click here to download the form from the Federal Voting Assistance Program's website). A completed FPCA serves a dual purpose. You can use the FPCA to register to vote if you are not already registered and to apply for an absentee ballot.
- Form 11-A: Application for Absent Voter's Ballot (PDF)
- Form 11-E: Application by Relative for Uniformed Services Absent Voter's Ballot (PDF)
- Federal Voting Assistance Program website (www.fvap.gov/eo/overview/materials/forms) to download the FPCA
Who may use the Federal Post Card Application?
The federal government and the State of Ohio permit the use of the FPCA by uniformed services voters and overseas voters. For your purpose, U.S. citizens who are active or reserve members of a uniformed service, the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the merchant marines, and their eligible spouses and dependents may use this FPCA when their military service causes them to be absent from the Ohio residence where they are qualified to vote.
Can anyone else request an absentee ballot on my behalf?
Your spouse, father, mother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, grandfather, grandmother, brother or sister of the whole blood or half blood, son, daughter, adopting parent, adopted child, stepparent, stepchild, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, uncle, aunt, nephew, or niece can request a ballot for you. They may use the FPCA or the Secretary of State prescribed form 11-E, providing a mailing address, fax number or email address at which you can receive the absentee ballot. This request may be made by mail or in person at your board of elections.
When can I apply for an absentee ballot?
When you complete the FPCA, one request allows you to receive absentee ballots for all elections (primary, general, or any special elections) during the year. While you may complete and return the FPCA at any time, an FPCA returned to your local board of elections at the beginning of each year on or after the first day of January or 90 days before an election, whichever is earlier, will serve as a request for absentee ballots for the entire year unless you specify otherwise. A completed FPCA, should this be received by mail, fax, or email by 12 noon on the third day before the election will allow you to receive an absentee ballot for that election and all subsequent elections in that year.
How do I submit my Federal Post Card Application?
You may complete and sign the FPCA and put it in the mail. When mailed from any U.S. post office, APO/FPO mail facility, or U.S. embassy or consulate, the hard copy included in this packet is postage-paid. You may also fax the completed and signed form to 614.485.7690 or attach it to an email to [email protected]. Please remember that in order to be a valid voter registration application and/or absentee ballot application, the FPCA must be completed and signed.
If you need an additional copy of the FPCA, you can print it from the Federal Voting Assistance Program website.
Where is my board of elections?
How will I receive my absentee ballot?
You must designate the form in which you prefer to receive your absentee ballot when you complete the FPCA. You may receive it by mail, fax or email. Local boards of elections are required to mail uniformed services or overseas absentee ballots beginning on the 46th day before the primary or general election, or as early as possible before any special election.
How can I find out what the issues are?
Each board of elections is required to prepare and update an election notice containing a list of all ballot questions and issues and all federal, state, and local offices the board expects to be on the ballot for each precinct holding an election. You may request a copy of this election notice from your local board of elections, or you may view the notice online if the board maintains a website. You may also visit MilitaryVotes.Ohio.gov to sign up to receive email reminders or contact 614.644.1761 for more information.
How will I return my voted ballot? What is the deadline for return of the ballot?
Voted absentee ballots cannot be returned by email for fax.
They may be returned only by U.S. Postal Service or another delivery service such as UPS or FedEx, or in person. An absentee ballot must arrive at the board office by the close of polls on Election Day if delivered in person. An absentee ballot returned by mail shall be submitted for mailing not later than 12:01 a.m. on the date of the election at the place where the voter completes the ballot. It must arrive at the board of elections office on or before the 10th day after the election.
How do I know that my local board of elections received my voted absentee ballot?
You will receive a tracking number from your county board of elections with your absentee ballot. You can use the tracking number to verify that your local board of elections has received your absentee ballot. Go to MilitaryVotes.Ohio.gov for more information.
What happens if I mail a completed FPCA to my local board of elections but do not receive my absentee ballot?
If you have requested an absentee ballot, but have not received a ballot close to Election Day, a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) can be downloaded from the Federal Voting Assistance Program website. The same guidelines for return of ballots mentioned above apply to the FWAB. You may request a copy of the election notice prepared by your local board of elections or view it online to use as a guide when completing your FWAB so that you know which candidates, questions, or issues are on the ballot.
Why do I have to declare my party affiliation for primaries?
Ohio law requires all voters who wish to vote in a primary election to declare the party for which they want to vote in the primary. A voter who does not declare a political party affiliation at a primary election is only permitted to vote on the non-candidate ballot questions and issues for which that voter is otherwise eligible if any appear on the ballot in an election.
How can I find out the results of an election?
Go to VoteOhio.gov and click on “Elections Results.”