Ohioans will be going to the polls for early voting beginning in October.

Starting on October 12, Ohio residents who are registered to vote can either physically go to the polls or can participate through absentee voting by mail.

In-person, early voting begins on October 12 and includes the two Saturdays, the Sunday and the Monday before Election Day. The hours of operation vary widely, so voters are encouraged to check the available times on the Ohio Secretary of State’s website. Individuals who want to participate in early in-person voting can go to ohiosos.gov and select their county on the website map to identify their appropriate voting location.

In order to vote early and in-person, a registered voter must also provide a valid form of identification such as a current photo ID, military ID, utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document.

If an individual wishes to vote in the election through absentee voting by mail, they must first complete an application form prescribed by the Secretary of State. Once the application is received, an absentee ballot will be mailed out to them so they can make their selections and return their ballot to the board of elections prior to Election Day.

Absentee voters can request their ballots for each election beginning on January 1 or 90 days before the date of an election. An applicant must submit a separate application for each election they wish to vote in.

The deadline to request an absentee ballot is three days prior to the election for which the ballot request is being made. An absentee ballot, if mailed, must be postmarked by the day before the election in order to be counted. There is also the option of returning your absentee ballot in person to the county board of elections before the polls close at 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.

Voting has already begun for military, and overseas ballots shipped out on September 23.

The first votes counted on election night are the absentee ballots

“… Every vote matters and every election shapes the future of our great state,” Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said.

The Ohio Board of Elections is continuing preparations for the upcoming election by getting the word out. Ohio Revised Code Section 3503.12 requires that the places, dates, times, qualifications, and methods for voter registration are advertised six weeks before a general election. This advertisement will begin on Tuesday. The registration deadline for voting is October 11.
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Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Election Day 2020” by Phil Roeder. CC BY 2.0.