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With Election Looming, It May Be Too Late To Request An Absentee Ballot

An absentee ballot application from the state of Ohio.
Darrin McDonald
/
WOSU
An absentee ballot application from the state of Ohio.

In theory, this Saturday, Oct. 31 is the deadline to request an absentee ballot in Ohio. But in practice, it may already be too late.

Applications for the ballots must arrive at your county board of elections by 12 p.m. on Saturday. After that, the request still needs to be processed, and the ballot itself mailed back to you – a process that usually takes several days round-trip.

Jen Miller, the executive director of the Ohio League of Women Voters, says even if it does reach your home on Monday, you’ll have to fill it out and get it postmarked that same day.

“Make sure that when you’re requesting your absentee ballot, that the Board of Elections can contact you by email or phone if there’s any problem," Miller said. "If there’s a question – maybe you put today’s date instead of your birthdate – they can call you and clarify those and we don’t need to rely on the mail system."

Mail-in ballots postmarked after November 2 won't be counted. If you already have your ballot but haven’t mailed it in yet, Miller says at this point it’s probably best to drop it in-person at your board of elections by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day, November 3.

You can safely submit your ballot around-the-clock at a secure ballot box, located at each county election board building.

Or, you can still vote in-person. There are early voting hours at Boards of Elections the rest of this week, through the weekend and on Monday.