MAHONING CO., Ohio (WKBN) – Mahoning County is receiving many questions about absentee ballots. It has gotten 8,500 applications for them so far. Both parties have sent mailings that you fill out to get a ballot.
“None of them are illegal. Some of them are convoluted because they don’t give all of the information that the voter needs to give us,” said Joyce Kale-Pesta, Mahoning County Elections director.
Some of the applications are missing birthdates, which is required to get your absentee ballot. The Board of Elections has to inform these people that it’s missing.
This year is even easier, though. If you wait until after Labor Day, Ohio will send all registered voters an absentee ballot application.
“Even if you’re in a household, every voter in that household will get an absentee application. But if you want to put an application in beforehand, that’s fine with us,” Kale-Pesta said.
There are checks and balances in place. No matter how many applications you return, you’ll only get one ballot.
“Then on Oct. 6, your ballot will be mailed to you and you’ll have nearly a month to fill it out, get a stamp on it and mail it back in,” said Ohio Lt. Gov. John Husted.
Even if you go vote in person too, only one vote will be counted.
Mahoning County has roughly 163,000 registered voters.
The Board of Elections is adding workers to help with the 40,000 expected applications for absentee ballots.
Voting at home is convenient, others want to do it because of the coronavirus.
“We’re excited to have the absentees because it will save us the grief at the polls with a lot of people in line, and that’s what we want to avoid. We’re trying to avoid the lines,” Kale-Pesta said.
Again, early voting begins Oct. 6, which is when the absentee ballots will be mailed. That gives you nearly a month to return it or decide to go vote in person.