Early voting underway in Ohio for May 2021 primary election

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.

It is election season once again in Ohio, though you may or may not have something to vote for this spring.

Early voting has begun for the May 2021 primary election, which features tax levies and other local government races throughout the state.

The easiest way to check if you have a local issue to vote on is to check your respective county’s board of elections website. These websites feature a “sample ballot” search function that will denote any issues or races in your community.

Here is a list of the ballot issues set for the primary election ballot. This does not include local government races such as city council elections:

Early voting is typically held at the county’s board of elections offices. There are some exceptions, with some counties having a separate voting center: Ashtabula, Clark, Lucas, Marion, Summit and Trumbull. You can find your county’s early voting site using this map.

Here is the early voting calendar:

Early voting:

  • April 9: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • April 12-16: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • April 19-23: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • April 26-30: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • May 1: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • May 2: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • May 3: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Election Day: Tuesday, May 4, 2021 with polls open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Ohioans can also apply to receive an absentee ballot mailed to them. The deadline to submit an application to the county board of elections office is May 1 at noon. 

A completed absentee ballot can be mailed to the elections office (postmarked by May 3, the day before the election) or can be dropped off at a “drop box” located outside each elections office. Drop boxes are available 24/7 through 7:30 p.m. on election night.

A directory of addresses for all 88 county board of elections offices can be found here.

For those planning to vote on Election Day, it is worth checking ahead of time where your voting precinct will be. (Polling places are sometimes consolidated for lower turnout elections.)

You can find your polling location using this online search tool, or contact your board of elections office directly to determine the correct location.

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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.