Ohio Absentee Ballot Guide

Last updated March 22, 2016
Military and Overseas voters should visit the Overseas Vote Foundation. Long Distance Voter's information should only be used by voters with US mailing addresses.

Important Deadlines

  • Voter Registration Form: Received 30 days before election 
  • Absentee Ballot Application: Received by noon on the third day before the election
  • Voted Absentee Ballot: Received by the close of polls on election day (in person). Postmarked the day before the election and received no later than 10 days after the election (by mail).

How to vote by absentee ballot

Register to vote

Recommended: Use our Voter Registration Tool.  Enter your information, print and sign the completed form, and mail it to the address printed on the form. 

You can also use the Ohio Voter Registration Form.  Mail your completed form to County Board of Elections.

Need to update your voter registration information? You can use the Ohio online voter registration information updater to make changes to your address or basic information. To use the online system, you will need to provide an Ohio state ID card number, your name, birth date, and the last four digits of your Social Security Number. (Otherwise, you can use a normal voter registration form to update your information.)

Verify your registration

It's best to verify your voter registration before applying for your absentee ballot.  If there's a problem with your registration, register again before proceeding.

NOTE: Most people receive their voter registration cards in the mail 2-3 weeks after registering to vote. Don't worry if you lost or never received it. You don't actually need your voter registration card to vote.

Apply for your absentee ballot

Good news! Any registered Ohio voter can vote by absentee ballot.

NOTE: You may begin applying for your absentee on January 1 of the year of the election, or 90 days prior to the election, whichever date is earlier.

Download and complete the Ohio Absentee Ballot Application.  Mail or hand-deliver your completed absentee ballot application to your County Board of Elections.

Receive, complete, and return your absentee ballot

The absentee ballot itself is pretty straightforward.  Fill it out, sign where indicated, and mail or hand-deliver your voted ballot to your County Board of Elections.  Your voted ballot must be received by the close of polls on election day.  If you can't return your ballot yourself, and immediate family member can bring deliver it for you to your County Board of Elections. 

NOTE: If you are outside the United States on election day, your absentee ballot envelope must be signed or postmarked prior to the close of polls, and received by the Board of Elections no later than 10 days after the election or 20 days after the presidential primary election

Additional Information

State Election Website: http://www.sos.state.oh.us/elections.aspx
Local Election Officials: Your Local Election Official is the best person to contact if you have questions.  They'll be able to provide up-to-date information on rules and deadlines. 


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