COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today announced that his office will begin mailing absentee ballot applications to voters this week ahead of November’s General Election. Applications should start arriving in mailboxes shortly after the Labor Day holiday.
“By mailing absentee applications to voters, we are making voting so convenient that they don’t even need to leave home to cast their ballot,” said Secretary Husted. “Absentee voting also helps to reduce the potential for lines on Election Day as more voters cast their ballots early.”
Absentee voting by mail is easy. By filling in the required information and returning the application to the appropriate county board of elections, voters will then have their ballot mailed to them once absentee voting begins on October 10. This will give voters nearly a month to cast a ballot without ever having to leave home. Voters who cast early ballots can also track their ballot at www.MyOhioVote.com to ensure it is received by their county board of elections.
Initiated under Secretary Husted, this year marks the fourth time absentee ballot applications have been sent out statewide. These mailings have been conducted ahead of the general elections in every even-numbered year since 2012. Prior to 2012, not all county boards of elections sent absentee ballot applications to voters. Recognizing the disparity this created from county to county, Secretary Husted implemented the statewide mailing to ensure all voters have equal access to the ballot.
“Along with Ohio’s uniform voting schedule, the statewide mailing of absentee ballot applications provides that all registered voters have ample opportunity to cast a ballot and take part in our democratic process,” said Secretary Husted.
To ensure all voters have adequate time to request and cast their ballots, and to provide boards of elections adequate time to process ballot applications, the statewide mailing will go out in three installments:
- The first mailing will be sent out this Friday and go to nearly eight million people. This mailing includes all voters on the rolls as of July 30, 2018.
- The second mailing will be sent in early October and include those who registered to vote or updated their voting information after July 30, 2018.
- The third – and final – mailing will be sent in mid-October to anyone who registered or updated their address after the data for the second mailing was compiled through the close of voter registration on October 9.
For security reasons, applications will be personalized to each registered voter at the voting address they have on file. Voters must complete the forms by providing valid identification, their date of birth and signature before returning the ballot request form to their county board of elections in the return envelope provided.
To vote by mail, boards of elections must receive a voter’s completed absentee ballot application by noon on Saturday, November 3, 2018. The application provided in the mailing may also be dropped off at the voter’s board of elections to vote early in person from the start of absentee voting through the Monday before the election. If a voter goes to the polls after having requested an absentee ballot, they will have to cast a provisional ballot.
The estimated cost for the mailing is $1.6 million and will be paid for primarily using funds approved by the State Controlling Board.
As a reminder, it is illegal to cast an absentee ballot that is not your own. Individuals who sign and cast a ballot that is not their own may face a felony penalty of the fourth degree.
For more information about the 2018 election, visit www.MyOhioVote.com.