With the Ohio primary election coming up, I thought it would be nice to write a simple guide on how to vote absentee in Ohio. I’ve been away at college each time Election Day rolls around, so I’ve voted absentee since I was able to vote. It really is an easy process if you are away at college or unable to get to the polls!
First you want to download this form from the Ohio Secretary of State and fill it out, or print it and fill it out by hand: Absentee ballot request form
Two important notes in filling it out:
- Where it says “I wish to vote in the election held on ____.” you want to put 03/15/2016. This is the date Ohio holds its primary elections.
- Then where it says “Check only ONE election” mark the box next to “Primary election,” and then write in the name of the party whose primary you wish to vote in.
Undecided on who to vote for? I did a handy candidate profile series that gives the basic details on who is running for office. However some candidates have dropped out since I wrote about them, so make sure you check the status of the candidate you take a liking to! I’ve also covered almost all of the debates, which give good backgrounds on the candidates issue preferences as well.
Once you have the form filled out, you need to put it in an envelope and send it to your county board of elections. The Ohio Secretary of State has a great list of all the addresses here.
Pick the Board of Elections in the county that your permanent address is in. For example, my permanent address is in Wayne County, so I send my absentee voting form to the Board of Elections in Wooster.
Once your request is sent, you then wait until your ballot is sent to you. It will come in a larger than average envelope (from my experience) and the ballot you send back within has to be mailed with more postage than normal (I think last time it was $1.07). Fill out your ballot, stick the postage on, and drop it back in the mail. Make sure it is postmarked by Election Day (March 15).
Congratulations, you have now successfully voted absentee!
If you would like to check the status of your ballot, check and see if your county Board of Elections has an absentee ballot search. My county, Wayne, has a handy one right here.
I hope this was helpful, if so- feel free to share!