How to Vote Absentee in the Primary Election
Editor’s Note 4/3/2020: An earlier version of this article suggested calling the Franklin County Board of Elections would save you a stamp in the process of getting an absentee ballot. Calling will save you from having to print your application, not save you a stamp.
Editor’s Note 4/27/2020: This article has been updated to include more information on in-person voting.
Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, the Ohio General Assembly voted last week to extend the state’s 2020 primary election through April 28. Ohio will no longer have an in-person primary election and instead will have an all-mail primary.
For those that typically opt into the tradition of voting in-person on election day, this is new territory. There are multiple ways to request a ballot, including calling your local county board of elections or mailing a completed application form to the board of elections.
If requesting a ballot by mail from the Franklin County Board of Elections, you must provide your Ohio driver’s license number, the last four digits of your Social Security number or a copy of a current and valid official document that shows your name and address. Through this website, you can also have your absentee ballot sent to a different address than the address you are registered under.
You then must print, sign and mail the completed form with a paid postage to the Franklin County Board of Elections at the following address:
Franklin County Board of Elections
P.O. Box 182111
Columbus, OH 43218-2111
You can also call the Franklin County Board of Elections at 614-525-3100 to request an application be mailed to you. That process can take less than five minutes and will save you some ink.
A 24-hour automated election system will collect information, including the last four digits of your Social Security number, your date of birth and the numeric portion of your street address. This process will allow you to either have an absentee ballot application mailed to the address the Board of Elections has on file or a different address.
Once your application is received and processed, the Board of Elections will mail out your ballot, including a return envelope with prepaid postage.
Applications for an absentee ballot must be received by Saturday, April 25 at noon, and mailed ballots must be postmarked by Monday, April 27. Ballots can be hand-delivered through Tuesday, April 28 to the Franklin County Board of Elections at 1700 Morse Rd. Columbus, OH 43229.
An exception has been made for voters with disabilities who require in-person voting and those who do not have a home mailing address. These voters can vote in-person on April 28 from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Also, if you requested your absentee ballot before the deadline but have not received it by Tuesday, April 28, you are able to cast a provisional ballot at the board of elections on election day.