Absentee Voting

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Absentee Voting

Regular Absentee Voting begins 35 days before Election day.

You can complete a Application for Voter's Ballot (English or Español) and mail it to the address below or vote in person at the Lorain County Board of Elections office located at 1985 North Ridge Rd., East, Lorain (Sheffield Township).

Or 

You can vote at the Lorain County Board of Elections Office located at 1985 North Ridge Rd., East, Lorain (Sheffield Township).

Application Form 11-A / English

Formulario de solicitud A-11 / Español

Mail to:  Lorain Co. Board of Elections
              Absentee Department
             1985 North Ridge Rd., East
              Lorain, OH 44055

All other Absent Voter Forms can be found at the Ohio Secretary of State website;

http://www.sos.state.oh.us/SOS/elections/electionsofficials/forms.aspx

VOTING BY ABSENTEE BALLOT


When does absentee voting begin and end?

Primary and general elections: Absentee voting begins 35 days before the day of a primary or general election. Except for voters hospitalized due to emergencies, as further described under the Absentee Deadlines section below, absentee voting ends the day before the election.

Special elections: Some elections do not involve the nomination or election of candidates. These elections are called special elections. Absentee voting for special elections begins as many days before the day of the election as reasonably possible. You may contact your county board of elections to learn if a special election is being held in your precinct and, if so, when absentee ballots will be available. Except for voters hospitalized due to emergencies, as further described under the Absentee Deadlines section below, absentee voting for special elections still ends the day before the election.

Once absentee ballots are available for voting, any eligible voter may receive and return an absentee ballot:

bulletin person at the county board of elections office or,
bulletif a board of elections has designated another location as its absentee voting site, in person at that designated location, or
bulletby U.S. Mail.

Who is eligible to vote by absentee ballot?

Any qualified Ohio voter whose registration information is up to date may request and vote an absentee ballot without stating a reason.

What is the application process for obtaining an absentee ballot?

Ohio law provides separate application processes for different classifications of absentee voters (i.e., state militia, armed services, uniformed service members, out-of-country, and regular citizens). In all cases, absentee ballots must be applied for in writing. If you are properly registered to vote, you must submit your written request to the board of elections of the county in which your voting residence is located. Your request must contain certain information as described in the following sections and your original signature. To avoid potential problems with your application, you are encouraged, but not required, to use an application form prescribed by the Ohio Secretary of State. Please click here to download an application form.

If you are not on active duty as a member of Ohio’s organized militia (including the Ohio Air National Guard, Ohio Army National Guard, Ohio Naval Militia, and Ohio Military Reserve), the U.S. armed services or other uniformed services serving outside of Ohio, or if you are not a U.S. citizen residing outside of the U.S., you are considered a “regular” absentee voter for the purpose of this guide.

REGULAR ABSENTEE VOTERS

If you are a regular absentee voter, you may use the application form prescribed by the Secretary of State (Form 11-A) to apply for your absentee ballot. If you choose not to use the prescribed form, your written application need not be in any particular format, but it must contain all of the following information:

  1. Your name;
  2. Your legal signature;
  3. The address at which you are registered to vote;
  4. Your birthdate;
  5. One of the following items showing proof of your identification:
    1. our Ohio driver’s license number; or
    2. The last four digits of your Social Security number; or
    3. A copy of your current and valid photo identification, military identification, or a current (within the last 12 months) utility bill (including cell phone bill), bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and current address (including from a public college or university).
      (Note: You cannot use a voter registration acknowledgement notice that the board of elections mailed to you as proof of identification.);
  6. A statement identifying the election for which you are requesting an absentee voter’s ballot;
  7. A statement that you are a qualified elector;
  8. If the request is for a partisan primary election ballot, your political party affiliation; and
  9. If you want the ballot to be mailed, the address to which you want it mailed.

For information regarding application deadlines, please see Absentee Deadlines at the end of this section.

ACTIVE DUTY MEMBERS OF OHIO’S ORGANIZED MILITIA

(Ohio Air National Guard, Ohio Army National Guard, Ohio Naval Militia and Ohio Military Reserve, collectively)

If you are on active duty with Ohio’s organized militia, your written application must contain all the information required of a regular absentee voter and either the address to which the ballot is to be mailed or the fax number to which it is to be faxed. If you are planning to request that the ballot be mailed to you, you may use the application form prescribed by the Secretary of State (Form 11-A) to apply for your absentee ballot.

Alternatively, an absentee application may be submitted on your behalf by one of the following relatives: your spouse, father, mother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, grandfather, grandmother, brother or sister of the whole blood or half blood, son, daughter, adopting parent, adopted child, stepparent, stepchild, uncle, aunt, nephew, or niece. Your relative must use the application prescribed by the Secretary of State (Form 11-E), available from the board of elections or the Secretary of State’s office. This application, which must be signed and sworn to by your relative (“the applicant”), must contain all the following information:

  1. Your full name;
  2. A statement that you are a qualified elector in the county;
  3. The address at which you are registered to vote;
  4. Your birthdate;
  5. One of the following items showing proof of your identification:
    1. Your Ohio driver’s license number; or
    2. The last four digits of your Social Security number; or
    3. A copy of your current and valid photo identification, military identification, or a current (within the last 12 months) utility bill (including cell phone bill), bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and current address (including from a public college or university).
      (Note: You cannot use as proof of identification a voter registration acknowledgement notice that the board of elections mailed to you.);
  6. A statement identifying the election for which the absentee ballot is requested;
  7. A statement that you are a member of the organized militia serving on active duty outside your Ohio county of residence;
  8. If the request is for a partisan primary election ballot, your political party affiliation;
  9. A statement specifying the applicant’s relationship to you;
  10. The address to which the ballot is to be mailed or fax number to which it is to be faxed;
  11. The signature and address of the person making the application; and
  12. The applicant’s notarized statement attesting to the validity of the application.
  13. For information regarding application deadlines, please see Absentee Deadlines at the end of this section.

ACTIVE DUTY MEMBERS OF THE ARMED SERVICES

If you are serving on active duty in the U.S. armed forces outside Ohio and meet the requirements for voting in Ohio, you may vote an armed services absentee ballot. Your spouse and dependents may vote an armed services absentee ballot only if they left Ohio to be with or near you.

What is the voting residence of a service member?

The voting residence of a service member is the place in Ohio where the service member resided immediately preceding the commencement of his or her service, unless he or she later established a voting residence elsewhere in Ohio.

Must armed services absentee voters be registered to vote?

Yes.

How do I apply for an armed services absentee ballot?

Qualified electors who are members of the armed services have multiple options available when applying for absentee ballots:

  1. If you are not currently a registered Ohio voter, you may use the current Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), available online at
    www.fvap.gov, both to register to vote and to request absentee ballots.
  2. If you already are a registered Ohio voter, you may request an absentee ballot using a form prescribed by the Ohio Secretary of State (Form 11-A). If you are in the Military or an over seas voter, use a FPCA form.
  3. If you already are registered to vote, you may designate a relative to request an absentee ballot on your behalf. Your relative must use the form prescribed by the Ohio Secretary of State (Form 11-E). .

For information regarding application deadlines, please see Absentee Deadlines at the end of this section.

UNIFORMED AND OVERSEAS CITIZENS

The voting rights of U.S. citizens living outside the U.S. and members of the uniformed services stationed outside Ohio are governed by federal law (The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act - “UOCAVA”), as well as state law.

Overseas Citizens: Generally, if you are a citizen residing outside the U.S., you are eligible to vote in federal elections in the state in which you resided immediately before leaving the U.S. if you were, or could have, registered to vote in that state while residing there, or currently are eligible under state law to vote in that state.

(Note: Federal law does not require any state to extend voting eligibility to a person who has never resided in that state on the basis that one or both of the person’s parents are, or were, residents in that state. )

If you are eligible, you may vote a federal ballot (candidates for U.S. president, vice president, U.S. Senate and member of the U.S. House of Representatives) from the Ohio precinct in which you resided immediately before leaving the U.S. to live in a foreign country, even though you may no longer have ties to, and may not intend to return to, Ohio.

(Note: You must register to vote and/or request an absentee ballot using the current Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) postcard or the online version. The online FPCA can be downloaded from www.fvap.gov.)

You may also be eligible to vote a regular Ohio ballot if you maintain a qualifying voting address in Ohio and have lived outside Ohio less than four consecutive years.

Uniformed Services Personnel: If you are a member of the uniformed services (armed forces, Merchant Marine, and the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), you are eligible to vote a regular ballot from the voting address in Ohio at which you resided for 30 days immediately before leaving Ohio to commence active duty service.

For information regarding application deadlines, please see Absentee Deadlines at the end of this section.

For additional information on voting by overseas citizens and uniformed services personnel, please contact the Secretary of State’s Elections Division or the board of elections in the Ohio county in which you previously resided. You may also visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s Web site: www.fvap.gov, or the Overseas Vote Foundation’s Web site: ohio.overseasvotefoundation.org.

Absentee Deadlines

To receive your absentee ballot:

  1. In person: After absentee ballots are available for voting, you may go to your county board of elections office or, if the board has designated another location in the county at which registered electors may vote, at that other location instead of the board of elections office, during established voting hours, the Monday before the election, and request, receive and vote your ballot at the board office or other designated location.
  2. By mail: Beginning 90 days before the date of an election, you may mail your properly completed absentee ballot application bearing your original signature to the board of elections of the county in which your voting residence is located. The board must receive your request by noon on the Saturday before the election. However, you should submit your request as far in advance of the election as possible to ensure there is sufficient time for the board to mail you a ballot and for you to timely return that ballot.
  3. By fax: If you are a member of the U.S. armed forces or an organized state militia, you may fax your absentee ballot request to the board of elections of the county in which your voting residence is located. The board must receive your request by noon on the Saturday before the election. You may request that the board fax your ballot to you, but you must return your marked ballot by mail.
  4. If you or your minor child is in the hospital on Election Day: Regardless of where you or your minor child is hospitalized, you must submit a properly completed and signed request to the board of elections of the county in which your voting residence is located by 3 p.m. on Election Day. To be eligible under this provision, you or your minor child must be confined in a hospital because of an unforeseeable medical emergency. Your application must specify where, why and when you or your minor child came to be hospitalized. If you or your minor child is hospitalized in the same county where you are registered to vote, two representatives of the board of elections can deliver the ballot to you, wait while you mark the ballot and return your voted ballot to the board office. Additionally, you may include in your absentee ballot application a request that your county board of elections give your unmarked ballot to a designated relative – your spouse, father, mother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, grandfather, grandmother, brother, sister, son, daughter, adopted parent, adopted child, stepparent, stepchild, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece – who shall deliver the ballot to you in the hospital and return your voted ballot to the board office.

For your absentee ballot to be counted, it must be received as follows:

  1. If you are a voter in the United States, your ballot may be returned:

    By U.S. Mail: the return envelope containing your marked ballot must be postmarked no later than the day before the election and received by the board of elections no later than 10 days after a special, primary or general election. (Note: Ohio’s election law states that “postmarked” does not include a date marked by a postage evidence system, such as a postage meter. Therefore, the return envelope must bear a valid postage cancellation stamp affixed by the U.S. Postal Service.)

    In person, either by you or an eligible family member: your marked ballot, which must be sealed in the completed and signed identification envelope provided with the ballot, must be delivered to the board of elections office no later than the close of polls on Election Day.

  2. If you are a voter outside the U.S. on Election Day, your ballot envelope must be signed and postmarked by the close of polls on Election Day and received by your county board of elections not later than the 10 days after a special, primary or general election, or 20 days after a presidential primary election.

 

 

Last Update 4/16/2014