COLUMBUS -- Earlier this summer, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced every registered Ohio voter would receive an absentee ballot request form in the mail.
Those request forms are arriving in mailboxes this week for the Nov. 3 general election.
Ohioans wishing to vote by absentee ballot must send request forms to their county board of elections in order to receive an absentee ballot.
In the absentee ballot request instructions, LaRose recommended voters submit requests quickly, but no later than Oct. 27. Absentee ballots will be sent by the voter’s respective county board of elections beginning Oct. 6.
“Whether you’re voting on election day, early in-person, or taking advantage of the absentee request form arriving this week in your mailbox, Ohioans should know voting will be safe and secure in Ohio,” LaRose said.
“With the convenience of voting from home comes a responsibility – don’t wait to make your voice heard. Get your ballot request form in the mail as soon as you can," he said.
By getting ballot request forms in early, voters will ease the burden on both county boards of elections staff, who are expecting a significant influx of election mail, as well as postal workers in their community working to make sure it’s delivered on time.
The first round of the mailing included voters currently registered in the state of Ohio. There will be two more rounds of forms still to be mailed to Ohioans who register to vote through the Oct. 5th registration deadline. The current estimated cost of the mailing is $1.1 million and is funded by federal CARES Act dollars.
LaRose offered the following advice:
-- 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. For the first time in a 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 U.S. 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.
LaRose said absentee voting in Ohio is time-tested and has strong security checks in place.
"Ohioans have utilized absentee voting for nearly two decades, and that has allowed Ohio to put in place both the laws and processes necessary to make absentee voting secure against fraud," he said.