Absentee voting

Voters waiting more than two hours to cast a ballot during the final weekend of early voting in Ohio on Sunday, November 1 at the Franklin County Board of Elections in Columbus.
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Antone White, the new director of the Franklin County Board of Elections, says he's ready to evaluate the voting process and enhance voter education after the tumultuous 2020 election. 

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

Early vote centers throughout the state have been busy all weekend. Many have seen lines out the door ever since October 6, when Ohioans could begin voting.

The line for early voting at the Franklin County of Board of Elections snaked behind the shopping plaza on Sunday afternoon.
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Thousands of Ohioans cast ballots on the final day of weekend early voting in Ohio, with some standing in line for hours – including at the Franklin County early voting center on Morse Road in Columbus.

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.

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.

Felicita Subhita, left, reviews her ballot as she uses curbside voting services during early voting Friday, Nov. 2, 2018, in San Diego.
Gregory Bull / AP

There are only a few days left before Election Day, and while millions of Ohioans have already cast their ballots early in-person or by mail, that process is more difficult for a certain segment of voters.

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.”

A social distancing sign rests on the floor as people participate during early voting at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, in Cleveland.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

Ohio boards of elections are seeing an unprecedented flood of early in-person voting and dropping off of absentee ballots, in spite of heated partisanship that has bred fear among some voters. Elections officials, law enforcement and citizens groups are mobilized to keep voters safe.

Updated at 9:40 a.m. ET Monday

Americans have cast a record-breaking 93 million early ballots as of Sunday afternoon, putting the 2020 election on track for historic levels of voter turnout.

That's almost twice as many pre-election votes as were cast in the 2016 election, according to the U.S. Elections Project, a turnout-tracking database run by University of Florida professor Michael McDonald.

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.

Answering Your Questions About Voting In Ohio

Oct 21, 2020
Voters cast their ballots using social distancing at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, Tuesday, April 28, 2020, in Cleveland.
Tony Dejak / AP

The pandemic has upset the usual protocol for voting and created political fights out of logistical issues.

Voters have requested a record 2.7 million absentee ballots, many for the first time. The onslaught that has brought questions, confusion and errors.