YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – If you intend to cast a ballot in this year’s rescheduled Ohio primary, you’re quickly running out of time, especially if you have not yet made arrangements to get a ballot sent to you.
With only about 20% turnout predicted for next Tuesday’s election, time is running out for would-be voters to get their ballots.
Election directors say many simply don’t understand that voting by mail is really a two step process.
“A lot of voters feel if they call here we can send a ballot right away to those individuals and we can’t. We first have to get an application to request a ballot,” said Tom McCabe, deputy director of the Mahoning County Board of Elections.
Over the last few days, board workers have been receiving upwards of 1,000 requests each day. Generally, those ballots are then sent out that same day.
“You can still call your local boards of elections and we’ll send an application in the mail. But if you wait too much longer, that timeline doesn’t work anymore,” McCabe said.
McCabe says you can speed things up by either requesting a ballot online or picking up an application from a dropbox located outside the board offices.
“You can fill that application out and leave it here. Then we’ll get that ballot out to [you] that same day,” he said.
Once you receive your ballot in the mail, be sure to complete it and mail it back so it can be postmarked no later than April 27.
“We’ll count it even if it gets here 10 days later. We’ll count it with a postmark on the 27th,” McCabe said.
If mailing is difficult, McCabe says voters can deliver their ballots to the board in-person using the dropbox up until 7:30 p.m. next Tuesday.
You can request your ballot in three ways:
- Print an absentee ballot request or have one sent to you
- Call you county board of elections to have them mail you an absentee ballot request
- Make your own absentee ballot request
You can also find all the information you need to vote on the Ohio Elections website.