We investigated your questions about voting. Here’s what we found out

On the first day absentee ballots could be mailed out in 2012, Tim Davis (left), director of mailing services for the Montgomery County Board of Elections and Kim Wong, an IT specialist, transported a load to the mail. LISA POWELL / STAFF
On the first day absentee ballots could be mailed out in 2012, Tim Davis (left), director of mailing services for the Montgomery County Board of Elections and Kim Wong, an IT specialist, transported a load to the mail. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

Today, the Dayton Daily News begins answering questions about the November election that our readers submit through a form online at DaytonDailyNews.com.

We will periodically provide answers to your questions from now until Election Day, Nov. 3. Here’s the first round that we investigated.

Question: When are mail-in ballots expected to be sent to those who have applied? – James Canaday

Answer: By law, your absentee ballot is not allowed to be mailed by the county board of elections until Oct. 6.

Some of the state’s county elections boards are coordinating to deliver their absentee ballots to the U.S. Postal Service the day before so they will go out in the mail on the first day possible, Oct. 6, said Brian Sleeth, a member of the Ohio Secretary of State’s Ready for November Task Force and Warren County’s elections director.

“Now they’re not allowed by law to deliver them until the sixth, but that’s just going to get them to the processing center. It’s going to give us a little head start,” he said.

ExploreElection 2020: Let the Dayton Daily News answer your questions

Several Dayton Daily News readers had similar questions: whether they can still vote in person if they requested an absentee ballot by mail. Following are two examples.

Question: If I request an absentee ballot, is that the only way I am allowed to vote? Or could I still choose to vote at my normal voting location on Election Day? – Phil Handorf

Question: If I apply for and received an absentee ballot but don’t send it in, does this keep me from voting in person? – Dennis Ream

Answer: You can vote in person after receiving an absentee ballot by mail. But, if you go to vote in person early or to your precinct on Election Day you will be required to vote a provisional ballot, according to Sleeth.

“It’s going to be a provisional ballot because there’s a live ballot that’s been issued to them already,” he said. “So they have to vote a provisional ballot at the polls. All that means is their ballot is getting sealed into an envelope and we’re going to hold it for 10 days after the election and make sure that another ballot doesn’t come in.”

Sleeth said provisional ballots won’t get counted right away the night of Election Day, but will get counted and included in the official count, which must be completed by Nov. 24.

“We will absolutely count that provisional ballot as long as a we can show they didn’t vote twice,” he said.

Do you have a question about voting? Ask it here and we’ll find the answer.

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