Ohio closing in on 2 million absentee ballot requests 

By: - September 23, 2020 12:40 am

This voting sticker, designed by student Emily Legg, was chosen in May to be the new sticker in Ohio. Photo courtesy the Secretary of State’s Office.

Voters turn to absentee ballots amid pandemic

More Ohioans are embracing absentee voting this year than ever before, figures provided by Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose show. 

A total of 1,784,004 absentee ballot applications had been received by the 88 county boards of elections offices as of Sept. 18, LaRose announced. That includes nearly 400,000 in just the week leading up to that date, meaning Ohio is well on pace to surpass 2 million absentee ballots requested.

The 1.78 million ballot applications received thus far in 2020 is already more than twice as many as received at the same point in 2016, according to LaRose. 

Secretary of State Frank LaRose provided this chart showing that absentee ballot requests are way up (at this point in the election cycle) compared to previous years.

There is still time to register to vote. Registration is available online by clicking here. The deadline to register is Oct. 5 in order to vote in the General Election.

Oct. 5 is also the deadline for Ohioans to update their voter registration ahead of the November election. It is important that voters submit any changes to their name or address. These changes can be made online by clicking here

Want to double check you are registered and have the correct information listed? The voter registration check is available online by clicking here. 

If you’re looking to vote absentee ballot (by mail or by ballot drop box), you will have to request the ballot like 1,784,004 Ohioans have done. There is still ample time to request one. Voters received a blank request form in the mail earlier this month. 

You can also find blank forms online here to send back, or can fill out this online form to have a request form mailed again to you. The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is the Saturday before Election Day, though LaRose is stressing that voters do so sooner than later to ensure the request can be processed in time. 

The actual absentee ballots themselves will be sent to voters who requested them beginning Oct. 6. They can be mailed back to the voter’s respective county board of elections office, or can be dropped off in a secure drop box located at each elections office address.

If you’re voting by mail, the ballot must be postmarked by Nov. 2 (the day before Election Day) in order to count. If you’re looking to drop off your ballot, it must be returned to the drop box by 7:30 p.m. on election night.

Ohio also offers early in-person voting beginning Oct. 6 running through Nov. 2. See here for a schedule and here for a directory of where to vote.

If you’re planning to head to the polls to vote on Election Day, you can find the correct polling location by searching here.

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Tyler Buchanan
Tyler Buchanan

Tyler Buchanan is an award-winning journalist who has covered Ohio politics and government for the past decade. A Bellevue native and graduate of Bowling Green State University, he most recently spent 6 1/2 years as a reporter and editor of The Athens Messenger and Vinton-Jackson Courier newspapers. He is a member of the BG News Alumni Society Board and was a 2019 fellow in the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism.