Plenty of time to request an absentee ballot for the November general election
By Marc Kovac
If you’re an eligible voter in Ohio, you probably received an application in the mail in recent days to request an absentee ballot for the November general election.
If you didn’t, there’s still plenty of time to do something about it.
Here are 10 things you should know about early voting and absentee ballots and voter registrations as we get closer to Election Day on Nov. 8:
111The process can be completed at your county elections board office or quickly online, via the secretary of state’s website, MyOhioVote.com.
To check your registration, you’ll have to provide your full name, address number and birth year.
111You’ll need your driver’s license or state ID number, birth date and last four numbers of your Social Security number.
You also can access a paper form on the website that can be completed and submitted to your county election board.
11111111That could change, pending court intervention. There’s a lawsuit making its way through the system that seeks to reinstate Ohio’s Golden Week, when eligible residents could register and cast ballots on the same day.
There have been a couple of different court decisions on that issue. But for the time being, Golden Week is gone.
1111According to Josh Eck, a spokesman for Husted, the mailings were sent to anyone listed as active in the statewide database, plus those listed as inactive but who voted four years ago.
111State Rep. Kathleen Clyde, D-Kent, for one, has repeatedly urged Husted to send absentee ballot applications to all eligible residents. She introduced legislation last year on the issue that has not moved in the Republican-controlled Legislature.
“Engaged, eligible, registered voters are being removed from Husted’s mailing lists for the flimsiest of reasons, and my bill would require the Secretary to treat everyone fairly and the same under the law,” she said in a released statement. “Unfortunately, it seems that we have a secretary of state who is actively engaged in finding ways to exclude targeted groups of voters, and it must stop now.”
But according to Eck, voters were omitted from the mailing list if their boards of elections believed they had moved but hadn’t updated their addresses.
“We don’t want to encourage someone to cast an absentee ballot from an address where they do not live,” he said.
Over the past several years, the secretary of state’s office has made a concerted effort to update the state’s voter database, removing deceased Ohioans from the list and dealing with more than 1 million duplicate registrations.
Voters who have not participated in an election for half-dozen years also have been purged, though they received warning in advance – Eck said such voters received a couple of absentee ballot applications, a mailing from the board of elections and likely were asked about updating their registration information when they renewed driver’s licenses or plates.
11111Absentee ballots must be requested by noon Nov. 5. Those ballots have to be postmarked by Nov. 7 to be counted, though you can submit them in person at your local elections board on Election Day, too.