How to vote by mail in Ohio's primary

FILE - This Sunday, March 15, 2020, file photo shows a bowl of stickers for those taking advantage of early voting in Steubenville, Ohio. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Registered Ohio voters will soon get a postcard in the mail telling them how they can vote in the primary election.

An order signed by Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton stopped in-person voting from happening on March 17 because of COVID-19.

Lawmakers voted to extend absentee voting in Ohio's primary through April 28. There will be no further opportunities for voters to vote in-person, except under special circumstances.

Vote-by-mail ballots must be postmarked by April 27 or dropped off at your county board of elections by 7:30 p.m. on April 28.

Here is how you can request a vote-by-mail ballot:

  1. Visit, print, and fill out the vote-by-mail ballot request form, sign it, affix postage and mail it to your county board of elections.
  2. Call your county board of elections and ask them to send you a ballot request form, fill out the form, sign it, affix postage and mail it to your county board of elections.
  3. Voters who can’t print their form may also simply write the following information on a blank sheet of paper and mail it to their board of elections:
    • Full name
    • Date of birth
    • Full registration address including county
    • Address where the ballot should be mailed (if different from your registration address)
    • One of the these: Ohio driver’s license number OR last four of your social security number OR include a copy of an acceptable form of ID
    • State that “I’m a qualified elector and I’m requesting an absentee ballot for the March 17 Ohio primary”
    • Indicate if you want a: Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, OR Issues Only ballot (choose only one)
    • Sign it
    • Today’s date
    • Phone number (optional, but suggested)
    • Email address (optional, but suggested)

Secretary of State Frank LaRose said all registered Ohio voters will receive a postcard in the mail telling them how to request an absentee ballot to vote by mail. LaRose said 7.8 million postcards are currently in the data validation and printing phase. They are expected to start arriving in mailboxes next week. Between printing, fees, and postage, this will cost an estimated $2.4 million.

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