COLUMBUS – Just days before the November 6 General Election, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is reminding voters they have several convenient ways to cast a ballot, which includes absentee voting by mail or in person – giving them 24 hours a day to vote from home or nearly 200 hours to vote in person that includes weeknights and weekends, respectively. There are 13 hours to vote on Election Day. The full, detailed and interactive 2018 elections calendar is available online.
Under state law, voters have until noon on Saturday, November 3, to request an absentee ballot by mail from their county board of elections. Completed absentee ballots may be returned by mail or in person. If returning an absentee ballot by mail, it must be postmarked by Monday, November 5, and arrive at the board of elections’ office within 10 days of Election Day in order to be eligible to be counted. If returning an absentee ballot in person, it must be dropped off at the county board of elections by the close of polls on Election Day. Voters may not return their absentee ballot at a polling location. A completed ballot may be returned by a family member.
Secretary Husted also announced today that as of Friday, October 26, an estimated 1,211,557 absentee ballots had been requested and 737,157 had been cast statewide. This includes more than 9,185 ballot requests from military and overseas voters, whose absentee ballots started going out on Saturday, September 22, of which more than 3,400 have been cast. Ballots for all other voters started going out on October 10 and more than 733,000 have been cast by mail and in person.
2018 General Election By-the-Numbers
- 8,069,215 Ohioans are registered to vote.
- 1,034,511 voters have requested an absentee ballot by mail as of Friday.
- Of those, 560,111 have been cast.
- 177,046 voters have requested and cast an absentee ballot in person as of Friday.
- 9,200 military & overseas voters have requested an absentee ballot as of Friday.
- Of those, 3,411 have been cast.
At this same point during absentee voting in 2014, more than 881,000 absentee ballots had been requested and more than 477,000 ballots had already been cast.
During the 2018 General Election, voters will decide a statewide ballot initiative, as well as races for both state and federal offices. There will also be 1,661 local issues across the state and a number of local races, which voters can obtain additional information on by contacting their county board of elections.
Voter Rights Advocates Urge Secretary Husted to Remedy Absentee Voting Problems
Local officials must deliver ballots, even with insufficient postage
COLUMBUS – The League of Women Voters Ohio, All Voting is Local, Ohio Voter Rights Coalition and Common Cause Ohio are calling on Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted to direct local elections officials to work with postal officials to ensure they receive mail-in ballots that lack sufficient postage. In recent days, advocates have learned of at least two counties—Hamilton and Wayne—where election officials provided incomplete or incorrect information about the amount of postage voters must affix to their ballots. Some voters have reported that their ballot has been returned to them.
“Voters should feel confident that if they mailed their absentee ballot, that it will be counted,” said Mike Brickner, Ohio State Director for All Voting is Local. “While many local post offices may deliver ballots with insufficient postage to local boards of elections, Secretary Husted should instruct boards to raise these issues with postal officials proactively. No ballot should be returned to a voter because they did not attach the correct number of stamps.”
In its letter to Secretary Husted, advocates underscore the official policy of the U.S. Postal Service is to deliver any election-related mail with insufficient postage to local boards of elections. However, many local post offices may not be aware of this policy. Before 2014, some boards of elections pre-paid for postage on election mail, but a change in state law now prohibits that practice.
“We look to Secretary Husted to continue to improve our electoral process by making clear to the postal service and local boards of election that all absentee ballots should be delivered, even if additional postage is due,” said Jennifer Miller, Executive Director for the League of Women Voters Ohio. “In the long term, we promote a change in the law in which voting by mail requires no postage at all.”
Election officials in Hamilton and Wayne counties disseminated inaccurate information to voters casting ballots by mail. While both boards of elections have taken steps to correct the misinformation, many voters may be left confused.
All Voting is Local fights for the right to vote through a unique combination of data-driven organizing, advocacy and communications. It is a collaborative campaign housed at The Leadership Conference Education Fund, in conjunction with Access Democracy; the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation; the American Constitution Society; the Campaign Legal Center; and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
For more information on the upcoming November 6 General Election or to download an absentee ballot request form, visit MyOhioVote.com.