Coronavirus: If you applied to get a mail-in ballot for the Ohio Primary, be patient

DAYTON — Elections officials in Montgomery County are asking for your patience as they deal with the onslaught of ballot requests for the April 28 mail-in Ohio Primary.

Voters have expressed concerns ever since the Ohio General Assembly set the late April date as the final day of the state primary. If you cast your ballot in person before March 17, the cutoff for early voting, your ballot is safe, according to Secretary of State Frank LaRose's office.

LaRose wanted to give voters until June 1 to get their ballots postmarked for a June primary, but the legislature felt differently.

The back-and-forth on the date was precipitated by the coronavirus pandemic, which prompted Gov. Mike DeWine to call for a state of emergency that included a stay-at-home order recently extended until May 1.

The time-crunch between taking in ballot requests, which prompted boards of election to mail voters ballots that must be returned to the boards of election postmarked by April 27, has caused high tension. LaRose's office estimated there are 7.8 million Ohioans who did not participate in early voting.

“So right now we are dealing with massive amounts of phone calls and applications for absentee ballot requests coming in,” Jan Kelly, Montgomery County Board of Elections director, told News Center 7′s Monica Castro on Tuesday night.

Approximately 10,000 ballots were mailed to voters a few days ago, Kelly said.

“When we are getting those applications in, it’s about a three- to five-day turn around, where we get the application in and we process it, it immediately goes to the mail house and then the U.S. Postal Service delivers it, they’re saying three to five days,” Kelly said.

According to LaRose’s office, the only in-person voting allowed for the primary will be for individuals who have disabilities who require in-person voting and those who do not have a home mailing address.