COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) — Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose gave an update on the state’s Election Day preparations, making it clear that Ohioans will have the option of voting in-person on Nov. 3.
He started by clarifying that postponing the election is not a possiblity because a federal law mandates that elections be held “the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November.” LaRose also stood in opposition to President Donald Trump suggesting the country postpone the election.
Ohioans can expect the days leading up to the election to be a lot like they were in previous years — four weeks of early voting, four weeks of absentee voting and poll workers at polling locations to greet those voting in-person Election Day.
LaRose has come out and admitted that the state needs to overhaul it’s application process for mail-in or absentee ballots.
Every Ohioan who is a registered voter will receive an absentee ballot form around Labor Day, something the state has done for around a decade. LaRose said that most elections see roughly 25 percent of votes come in by mail.
He assured those watching that absentee ballots are authenticated twice during the voting process: once when the ballot is requested and again when the ballot is received. Ohio voted solely by mail-in or absentee ballots for the Primary Election in April after it was postponed due to the pandemic.
LaRose’s office has also established the Ohio Voting Safety Plan, guidance that will enhance the ability of county boards of elections to keep their voters and election officials safe. The plan sets in place 48 points that include the following:
- Routine cleaning of voting machines and e-pollbooks
- Mask requirements and regular hand washing for all poll workers
- Social distancing recommendations
- Making curbside voting available
Ohioans are encouraged to wear masks when they go to the polls on Nov. 3 but voters cannot be prevented from voting for not wearing them.
- Sept. 18
- Absentee voting begins for military and residents overseas
- Oct. 5
- The last day you can register to vote in Ohio
- Oct. 6
- Early in-person and absentee voting begins
- Oct. 31
- Final day to request an absentee ballot – must be in by noon
- Nov. 2
- Deadline to send absentee ballots (must be postmarked)
- Nov. 3
- General Election Day, absentee ballots can be dropped off at your local Board of Elections