More Ohioans are taking advantage of early voting this year compared to the last local off-year election in 2015, according to Secretary of State Jon Husted.
More than a quarter of a million absentee ballots have been requested so far. That’s about 34,000 more than 2015.
One big difference is that this year Ohioans have been swamped with TV, digital and radio advertising about State Issue 2, the prescription drug ballot issue. In 2015 ballots were dominated by the effort to legalize marijuana in Ohio.
This year there are also hundreds of races on the ballot for mayors, city councils, township trustees and school boards. Hundreds of local school districts and communities around Ohio have tax levies on the ballot Nov. 7.
Husted says that an estimated 257,728 absentee ballots have been requested statewide. This includes 1,003 requests from military and overseas voters. So far 69,223 ballots have been returned. That number includes people who have voted early at county board of elections.
At this same point in time during absentee voting in 2015, nearly 223,000 absentee ballots had been requested with more than 61,200 ballots having been already cast.
To request an absentee ballot by mail, applications must be received by boards of elections by noon on Nov. 4. However, voters are encouraged to submit their request as soon as possible to ensure sufficient time to complete and return their ballot to the board of elections.
Completed absentee ballots must be postmarked by the day before the election and arrive at the board of elections within 10 days after Election Day in order to be counted.
To download an absentee ballot request form, go to MyOhioVote.com.
If you want to vote early at your county board of elections office, here are the hours:
Today- Oct. 27: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Oct. 30-Nov. 3: 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
Nov. 4: 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Nov. 5: 1 p.m.-5 p.m.
Nov. 6: 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Nov. 4: Deadline to Request an Absentee Ballot (Noon)
Nov. 6: Mailed absentee ballots must be postmarked by this date
Nov. 7: General Election: Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 7: Voters are able to drop off absentee ballot at their county board of elections office until 7:30 p.m.