absentee ballots

Updated at 11:56 a.m. ET

With about 100 days left before the general election, officials are simultaneously trying to prepare for two very different types of voting, while facing two unprecedented threats to safety and security. It's a juggling act that has voters, political parties and officials anxious about how smoothly November's voting will go.

"Doubt is our enemy," U.S. Sen. Angus King, an independent from Maine, said at a Senate hearing Wednesday on what Congress can do to ensure public confidence in this year's election results.

Sometime soon - very soon - Ohio's chief elections officer, Secretary of State Frank LaRose, is going to have to make a decision: Does he make it easier for people with absentee ballots to return them to their county boards of election, or does he make it harder?

Mail-in voting, which tens of millions of Americans are expected to use this November, is fraught with potential problems. Hundreds of thousands of ballots go uncounted each year because people make mistakes, such as forgetting to sign the form or sending it in too late.

A bowl of stickers for those taking advantage of early voting, Sunday, March 15, 2020, in Steubenville, Ohio.
Gene Puskar / Associated Press

On a party-line vote, an Ohio House committee passed a bill that will make some changes to election law. Backers say it gives more flexibility to election officials should COVID-19 cause changes this November but its opponents have concerns.

The only fraud being perpetrated in the 2020 presidential election so far is the unmitigated nonsense being tweeted out on a nearly daily basis by the president of the United States.

Updated at 6:38 p.m. ET

President Trump on Wednesday escalated his rhetorical campaign against an expansion of mail-in voting amid the coronavirus pandemic by threatening federal funding to two states with Democratic governors.

Trump appeared to be set off by an announcement Tuesday from Michigan's Democratic secretary of state, Jocelyn Benson, who said her office will mail an absentee ballot application to every voter in the state for August and November elections.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, right, overseeing the Election Night Reporting Center in Columbus, Ohio, watches early returns in the Ohio primary election from the Election Night Command Center, Tuesday, April 28, 2020.
Gene Puskar / Associated Press

Ohio’s Secretary of State says an election day with in-person voting is still the plan for this fall, but he’s suggesting some changes in case concerns about coronavirus keep voters away.

Just under a quarter of Ohio’s registered voters actually cast ballots in the primary election which ended earlier this week. Low turnout was expected after the original March 17th in person Election Day was canceled because of coronavirus concerns, and absentee voting by mail was extended until this past Tuesday. And there are now calls for change to make it easier to vote this fall.

Ohio I Voted Stickers
John Minchillo / Associated Press

The Ohio elections chief says nearly 150,000 absentee ballots have been requested with about three weeks to go before the state's March 17 presidential primary. 

voting booths
John Minchillo / Associated Press

An estimated 1.2 million absentee ballots have been requested and more than 737,000 cast so far in Ohio, according to the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office.

Secretary of State Jon Husted drops off absentee ballot at the Franklin County Board of Elections.
Andy Chow / Ohio Public Radio

Early voting has been going for a week, and the number of registered voters is the highest it’s been in a decade. Many voters are opting to vote early through absentee ballot. That includes one major statewide official.

Flickr Creative Commons

Advocates for the homeless and the Ohio Democratic Party are asking the Supreme Court to block election rules that could disqualify thousands of absentee and provisional ballots in the battleground state because of minor mistakes or omissions.

JC

Ohio military and overseas voters can now cast ballots for the November presidential election. The office of Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted says absentee voting for military and overseas voters began Saturday.

Ohio's absentee ballot request form
Ohio Secretary of State's Office

State officials say more than 524,000 absentee ballots have been requested in Ohio this year - an increase of 40,000 compared to the same period during the 2012 presidential election.

Ohio Secretary of State's Office

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted says more than 383,000 of the nearly 484,000 absentee ballots requested in this year's general election have been cast as voters head to the polls.

Pages