Ohio absentee and mail ballot guide
Ohio absentee ballot overview
Absentee ballots and mail ballots are the same thing, and the process for getting one is straight forward.
- Request your ballot by the deadline
- Receive your in ballot in the mail
- Return your ballot by the deadline
Ohio absentee deadlines
- Earliest day to apply: January 1
- Request deadline (online): N/A
- Request deadline (by mail): Received 4 days before Election Day
- Request deadline (in person): 4 days before Election Day
- Deadline to return your ballot (by mail): Postmarked 1 day BEFORE Election Day
- Deadline to return your ballot (in person): Received by Election Day
Ohio absentee ballot rules
Any registered Ohio voter can request an absentee ballot and vote by mail.
Ohio online ballot request
Ohio does not allow you to request your ballot online.
Ohio by-mail ballot request
- Download the Ohio absentee ballot application.
- Fill out all of the required fields.
- Print the application.
- Sign and date your application. This is very important.
- Mail or hand-deliver your completed application directly to your local election office as soon as possible, but no later than the deadline.
- If it’s close to the deadline, call your local election office and see if they will let you submit your application via email or fax.
- The deadline to apply by mail is: Received 4 days before Election Day.
Ohio in-person ballot request
- Visit your local election office.
- Ask the clerk to give you an absentee ballot application.
- Fill out all of the required fields.
- Sign and date your application.
- The deadline to apply in person is: 4 days before Election Day.
After you receive your ballot
- Carefully read and follow the instructions, and fill out all required fields.
- Sign and date the outside envelope.
- Mail or hand-deliver your ballot to your local election office. You can also hand-deliver your ballot to a state-provided drop box. You can use our Find Out Where To Vote tool to find an official drop box.
- If you mail your ballot, it must be postmarked 1 day BEFORE Election Day.
- If you hand-deliver your ballot, it must be received by Election Day.
- If you miss the deadline – or forget to sign the outside envelope – your vote will not be counted.
Ohio absentee ballot ID requirements
- ID required when requesting a mail-in ballot: You must provide your Ohio driver's license number or the last 4 digits of your social security number on your absentee ballot application. If you don't have either number, then you'll need to include a photocopy of an official document that shows your name and address, such as a recent utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or any government document that shows your name and current address. The signature on your absentee ballot application will be compared to the signature on your voter registration card to ensure they match.
- ID required when returning a mail-in ballot: You must include your driver's license number or the last four digits of your Social Security Number on your identification envelope. If you can not provide your driver's license number or the last four digits of your social security number , you may also shall include a copy of your current photo identification, a copy of a military identification, or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and address.
Local election office
Contact your local election office if you have questions.
Statewide election office
This is the statewide agency that is ultimately responsible for Ohio elections. You can contact them with questions, but your local election office will probably respond faster.
Secretary of State of Ohio Elections Division 180 E. Broad Street - 15th Floor Columbus, OH 43215
- Ohio online voter registration
- Ohio voter status lookup
- Ohio absentee ballot tracker
- Ohio polling place locator