Beat the crowds at voting booths

Ohio voters may request absentee ballots without stating a reason.

To receive an absentee ballot, a registered voter must submit a written request to the board of elections in the county where they reside.  

Although there is no set form, the request must include: the voter’s name, signature, address where they are registered to vote, birth date, a statement identifying the election for which the voter requires a ballot, a statement that the voter is a qualified elector, party affiliation (if a primary), and a copy of a form of identification that includes both the applicant’s name and address such as utility bill, or the applicant’s driver’s license number or the last four digits of their social security number.

Applications for absentee ballots must be received by the voter’s board of elections by noon the Saturday before the election, Nov. 3.

Emergency absentee ballots may be requested as late as 3 p.m. on Election Day for people who have been hospitalized due to a medical emergency.

To be properly counted, a ballot must be received by the board of elections by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.  If a ballot is submitted from outside the United States, the board of elections must receive it no later than the 10th day after the election to be counted.

The ballots may require extra postage.

Absentee voting begins 35 days before primary and general elections.

Military serving overseas may apply for a slightly different ballot process by contacting their county boards of elections.

Although no standard exists, many counties have created forms to help people applying for absentee ballots.

To download instructions for an absentee ballot in Franklin County, visit


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