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 3 days before Election Day
- Request deadline (in person): 3 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.
- Your application must be received 3 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 3 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.
Ohio absentee ballot tracker
Track your ballot here: Ohio absentee ballot tracker
Ohio absentee ballot curing
Ballot curing is the process of resolving any problems with your absentee or mail ballot to ensure that your vote is counted. After tracking your ballot, contact your local election office to fix any issues that have been noted.
- Your ballot will be rejected if you forget to sign it or if the signature does not match the one that the state has on file for you.
- You must make corrections by 5:00 pm on the 7th day after Election Day for your vote to count.
Ohio emergency ballots
Some states have special procedures that allow you to obtain an emergency ballot if a medical or other emergency occurs after the standard absentee ballot application window.Emergency Ballot Rules
If you or your minor child are hospitalized as a result of an accident or unforseeable medical emergency occurring before Election Day, you may apply for an absentee ballot. The application must be in writing and delivered to the board of elections no later than 3PM Election Day. The application must include the name of the hospital, the hospitalization date, and the offices you are qualified to vote for. You may have a family member retrieve the ballot for you, otherwise the board will arrange for a ballot to be delivered to the hospital for you.
- Emergency ballot request starts close of business 3 days before Election Day
- Emergency ballot request ends 3PM Election Day
- Emergency ballot return deadline is Election Day
Contact your local election office
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