Secretary of State: More than 1.3 million Ohioans have asked for absentee ballot applications

COLUMBUS — County board of elections statewide have received 1,398,347 absentee ballot applications, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose reported Tuesday, more than double the number of such ballots asked for during the 2016 election.

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LaRose said the statewide number announced includes 15,806 requests from military and overseas voters. Those ballots will be mailed beginning Sept. 18. All other ballots will be mailed starting Oct. 6. As of Tuesday, there are 49 days remaining until Election Day.

At the same time during the 2016 election, 524,631 absentee ballots had been requested, he said, noting that all data is current as of Sept. 11.

Ohio’s population is 11.6 million, according to the latest census data.

“Ohioans continue to show incredible confidence in our absentee voting system, and our county boards are well-equipped to handle the surge in requests,” LaRose said in a prepared statement.

To prepare Ohio boards of elections for the large amount of voters requesting absentee ballots this year, LaRose sent 87% of Ohio’s $12.8 million CARES Act allocation directly to the county boards to strengthen their election infrastructure, hire temporary personnel, and more.

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LaRose said voters intending to use the absentee ballot option should consider the following best practices:

  • Fill in information properly. Review the form to ensure you have filled it out properly, including writing your date of birth where required, not the day’s date, as well as 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.
  • 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, fill out and mail your absentee ballot request as soon as possible. By law, ballots are not sent out (other than for overseas voters) until Oct. 6.
  • Double check your return envelope. Before you submit your ballot request form, make sure the envelope is addressed to your county board of elections.
  • Track your ballot. Once your ballot request is received by your county board of elections, you may track it at VoteOhio.gov/Track. Your vote will be counted as long as your ballot is postmarked by the day before the election and received within 10 days after the election at your board of elections.

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