All Ohio voters to get absentee ballot applications in mail soon

Absentee ballot applications are hitting nearly 6.6 million mailboxes next week, about a month ahead of when early voting is scheduled to start in Ohio.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s office is spending $1.1 million to mail applications to all active registered voters — those who cast ballots in 2012 or 2014, said Husted press secretary Joshua Eck. Another 1.1 million registered voters who haven’t voted recently were sent cards to confirm their current addresses.

Absentee voting has proven popular with Ohio voters. Nearly 1.9 million voters cast absentee ballots in the 2012 presidential election, or about one of every three cast in Ohio that election.


In 2005, Ohio went to no-fault absentee and early voting, meaning voters no longer needed a valid excuse for doing so.

“Early absentee voting has many benefits. It is convenient for voters for sure, and when voters cast ballots by mail, it reduces the chance of lines at the polls on Election Day,” Husted said in a written release.

Here are some key dates to remember:

Oct. 11: Last day to register to vote for the 2016 general election.

Oct. 12: Early voting opens.

Nov. 5: Requests for absentee ballots must be made before noon.

Nov. 7: Absentee ballots must be postmarked by this day.

Nov. 8: Election Day. Absentee ballots may be returned in-person to the county board of elections before the polls close at 7:30 p.m.

State legislators changed Ohio law to prohibit local boards of elections from pre-paying the return postage on absentee ballots. Voters must pay the postage themselves. Eck said local county board of elections will provide direction on how much postage is required.

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