(PRESS RELEASE) COLUMBUS – Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections has begun sending out ballots to military and overseas voters, officially opening the March 19 primary election.
“No matter where they are in the world, our service members and their families have the right to make their voices heard in our elections,” said Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose.
“I’ve been in situations on the front lines where casting a ballot isn’t the easiest process to figure out, so we’ve made it a top priority here at home to help these patriots exercise one of their most fundamental freedoms while they’re protecting us abroad.”
Overseas voters can visit MilitaryVotes.Ohio.Gov to find everything they need to request and return an absentee ballot.
The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) and the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act are federal laws ensuring this right in federal elections, while the Ohio General Assembly has incorporated those federal protections into the Ohio Revised Code and extended them to state and local elections.
United States citizens covered by UOCAVA include: members of the United States Uniformed Services and merchant marine; their family members; and United States citizens residing outside the United States.
Recognizing the complexities of voting from overseas, both state and federal law protect the right and ability for these citizens to vote by providing additional and adequate time for them to apply for and cast an absentee ballot.
Ballots may be requested by mail, email, or fax, but the voted ballot must be submitted by mail or in person, like any other absentee ballot.
Due to Ohio’s cybersecurity efforts, users in some countries or unsecured locations (i.e. public WiFi, internet cafes) may not be able to immediately access their county or state website.
If that occurs, voters are encouraged to visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program website at FVAP.gov or call the Ohio Secretary of State’s office at 614-466-2585 or 877.SOS.OHIO. The Federal Voting Assistance Program is affiliated with the U.S. Department of Defense.
UOCAVA ballots may be returned by U.S. Postal Service, APO/FPO System, diplomatic pouch or another delivery service such as UPS or FedEx, or in person.
An absentee ballot delivered in person must arrive at the board office by the close of polls on Election Day.
Absentee ballots returned by mail must be submitted for mailing by 12:01 a.m. on Election Day and must arrive at the board of elections office within four days after the election.
Absentee Voting by Mail and In-Person
All other Ohio voters may begin voting on February 21 via in-person and by mail-in absentee ballot. For more information, visit VoteOhio.gov.
Register to Vote/Update Your Address
The deadline to register to vote or update an existing registration ahead of the March 19, 2024 primary election is February 20 (30 days before the election). Voters may go to VoteOhio.gov to register online or update an existing registration. Voter registration forms can also be printed or obtained from a county board of elections office.
Other Voting Information
VoteOhio.gov is a one-stop location for all necessary voting information. Through this website Ohio voters can check their voter registration status, find their polling location, view their sample ballot, and track their absentee ballot.