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Ohio Elections Chief Says No Major Problems Yet In Delayed Primary

Ohio I Voted Sticker
Karen Kasler
Ohio Public Radio
A stack of Ohio's newest "I Voted" stickers sit in a basket at the Franklin County Board of Elections office in Columbus on March 15, 2020.

Voter participation in Ohio's pandemic-delayed primary election is on a slow pace with less than one week to go.

Numbers released by the state's election chief, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, show fewer than a fourth of registered voters had requested an absentee ballot by the end of last week.

As of Tuesday, 1,667,883 Ohioans requested a vote-by-mail ballot for the election, and 975,158 voters have already cast their ballot.

In comparison, about 3 million residents cast votes in Ohio's 2016 presidential primary.

But LaRose says voting is going relatively smoothly under the unprecedented circumstances.

State authorities canceled in-person voting hours before the scheduled March 17 primary, and then replaced it with voting that is nearly all absentee.

Ohio Voting Guide: What To Know About The 2020 Election

Voters can download a ballot request form and print it, or call their local board of elections and have one sent, but time is short. Ballots must be requested by April 25, and postmarked by April 27, to be counted.

There will be in-person voting April 28 restricted to disabled voters and homeless people.