absentee ballots

Ohio secretary of state Frank LaRose speaks during a media tour of the Delaware County Board of Elections in Delaware, Ohio, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020.
Paul Vernon / Associated Press

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has reissued a contentious order limiting the number of ballot drop boxes to one per county for the May 4 primary.

Attorney General Dave Yost speaks at a press conference in 2018.
Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau

Ohio’s Republican Attorney General wants the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling extending the deadline for absentee ballots to be returned in that state.

Updated at 12:24 p.m. ET

Despite calls from many for a concession this weekend, President Trump and his campaign say they are pushing on to fight the election results tooth-and-nail.

Practically speaking, that means lawsuits.

"Our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated," Trump said in a statement Saturday. "The American People are entitled to an honest election: that means counting all legal ballots, and not counting any illegal ballots."

Three days after Election Day, Democratic nominee Joe Biden took narrow leads in Pennsylvania and Georgia, according to The Associated Press, putting him on the cusp of a victory in the Electoral College.

Early Friday, Biden took a 5,500-vote lead in the Keystone State, after trailing President Trump there for days. He also took a narrow lead in Georgia, giving the Democratic nominee the lead in a state that hasn't voted for a Democrat for president since Bill Clinton was on the ticket in 1992.

Election Day is over but for election workers, the hard task of ensuring the vote went off without a hitch will likely go on until mid-December. In Hamilton County, officials looked into reports of malfeasance and are still counting votes. 

There have been reports of voter intimidation and people voting more than once. Investigations into the claims did not pan out any concrete proof of either.

Election Day is here. Polls open in Ohio at 6:30 a.m. on November 3, and close at 7:30 p.m. The U.S. presidential race, all 16 Ohio congressional seats and many other state races will be on the ballot.

Here's some free advice for anyone who plans to watch the election results Tuesday night (and likely into Wednesday morning). Take a tip from that noted sage of the baseball diamond, Yogi Berra – it ain't over until it's over.

USPS worker unloading absentee ballots to be sent out Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Nick Evans / WOSU

More than 26,000 Franklin County residents have voted in-person or returned their replacement ballots since receiving incorrect ones earlier this month.

Updated: 1:00 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020

In Ohio, local elections officials process absentee ballots as soon as they get them. That offers not only a sense of how many people are voting in person or by mail, but how many ballots have been flagged for errors. ideastream’s Morning Edition host Amy Eddings talked with Cuyahoga County Board of Elections Spokesman Mike West about the process of "curing" irregular ballots.

An absentee ballot application from the state of Ohio.
Darrin McDonald / WOSU

In theory, this Saturday, Oct. 31 is the deadline to request an absentee ballot in Ohio. But in practice, it may already be too late.

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused, for a second time, a Republican Party effort to block a three-day extension for receiving absentee ballots in Pennsylvania. That means that at least until after the election, the court will not intervene in the way the state conducts its vote count.

The court in a second case from North Carolina, also refused late Wednesday to block a similar extension of time to count votes, an extension put into place by the state election board.

If you’ve requested an absentee ballot, now is the time return it to your local board of elections, Ohio election officials said Wednesday.

Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 2, the day before Election Day. Boards will accept properly postmarked absentees up until 10 days after the election, adding valid late arrivals to the post-election official vote canvass.

This fall, election workers will sort mountains of paper, upload data from thousands of USB sticks and tabulate millions of votes — all to tell Ohioans who won their 18 electors, who will don judges’ robes, who will ascend to local office and who will pay more in taxes.

How do county election boards keep it all straight?

“You have to be extremely organized,” Cuyahoga County Board of Elections Director Anthony Perlatti said. “We put a bar code on everything, we label everything.”

In this April 28, 2020 file photo, Marcia McCoy drops her ballot into a box outside the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections in Cleveland, Ohio.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

A federal lawsuit against Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose that could have allowed counties to add more ballot drop boxes at various locations for the November election has been dropped.

Applications for voter ballots are seen at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections Tuesday, July 14, 2020, in Cleveland.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

With less than two weeks left in early voting, 16 Ohio counties are recovering from delays in getting absentee ballots to voters because of a problem with an outside vendor.

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