COLUMBUS – Ohioans are showing up to vote early in record numbers – with triple the number of Ohioans voting at early voting centers across Ohio compared to the same point four years ago. As of Tuesday, 193,021 Ohioans voted early in-person in the first week compared to 64,312 at the same time in 2016.
Absentee ballot requests increased by 316,033 to a total of 2,470,268 absentee ballot applications received by county boards of elections statewide. This includes 23,853 requests from military and overseas voters. At the same time during the 2016 election, 1,245,670 absentee ballots had been requested.
“Voter enthusiasm is off the charts and we couldn’t be happier,” said Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose. “We’ve never seen this many people voting early in-person and it demonstrates what Ohioans know to be true – it’s easy to vote in the Buckeye State!”
As of Tuesday, 1,127 early in-person ballots had been cast in Fulton County.
LaRose said voters should consider these best practices when they choose the absentee ballot option:
• Fill in the 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 your request 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. Including your information will ensure you can be reached if your ballot request doesn’t have everything filled out properly.
• Don’t wait. To accommodate necessary processing time at the county board of elections and the time required for the United States Postal Service to deliver elections mail, voters should not procrastinate – fill out and mail your absentee ballot request as soon as possible. Note that, 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 their ballot request is received by their county board of elections, voters may track their ballot at VoteOhio.gov/track. As long as your ballot is postmarked by the day before the election and received within 10 days after the election at your county board of elections, your vote will be tabulated.