Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose
March 25, 2020



“Today my friends in the legislature did the right thing by extending deadlines and postponing requirements on everything from taxes to school testing, so it’s disappointing that they’ve instead chosen to significantly reduce the time provided for Ohio to bring this primary to a close. The proposal that Governor DeWine, Lt. Governor Husted and I laid out was preferable, and unlike the plan enacted today, our proposal would have concluded the election by putting a ballot request directly in the hands of every voter along with a postage-paid return envelope. Though I advocated for a different plan, the legislature has spoken, and I will uphold my oath of office by doing everything in my power over the next 34 days to ensure that every Ohio voter has the opportunity to safely make their voice heard.”


  • To vote in the primary, voters must submit an absentee ballot request to their county board of elections that, among other requirements, informs the board of the voter’s choice of a party or local Issues ballot. Usually these requests are printed and mailed by the voter.
  • Once received, the board will process the request, print a ballot for the specified voter, and mail it out.
  • Upon receiving the ballot, the voter will vote, complete the necessary form, sign it and mail it to the board. Absentee ballots must be postmarked the day before the final day of the election and will have until 10 days after the election to be received.

  • The Secretary of State would directly mail postage-paid absentee ballot request forms to the approximately 7.2 million registered Ohioans who have not yet voted. These forms would arrive at the homes of voters around April 27th. This plan would essentially skip the step of sending informational postcards.
  • Interested voters would send their postage-paid requests back to their boards, who in turn would process the request, print the ballot and send it to the voter.
  • Voters would have until June 1 to postmark their ballot in a postage-paid envelope for submission and tabulation at their county board of elections.
  • This plan afforded all voters a fair, safe opportunity to cast their ballots by mail and a limited in-person voting opportunity, pending the public health emergency being lifted, for Ohioans with disabilities and those who can not receive mail.

  • The Ohio Secretary of State must design, print and mail approximately 7.8 million informational postcards to every registered Ohioan that explains to them how to obtain the form necessary to request an absentee ballot.
  • Based on preliminary estimates from prospective vendors, it is expected that these postcards will reach registered voters in the second week of April.
  • Voters who want to cast a ballot must then either print out an absentee ballot request form themselves or call their county board and ask for one to be sent to them.
  • Voters must then affix their own postage and send the request to their county board of elections.
  • Boards must then process the request, print the ballot and send it to the voter.
  • Each voter must receive their ballot, cast their vote, and return the ballot in a postage-paid envelope, postmarked by April 27th.
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Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose
April 2, 2020


COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose today released the postcard that Ohio voters will soon receive as part of the effort to complete the 2020 Ohio primary election. In-person voting on March 17th was blocked by an order from Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton to combat the spread of Coronavirus/COVID-19, following an announcement by Governor Mike DeWine on March 16th that Ohioans over the age of 65 should remain home and barring gatherings of greater than 50 people.

The Ohio General Assembly then met to set April 28th as the date on which the primary election would be complete, and directed Secretary LaRose to mail a postcard to all registered voters in the state informing them about how to request an absentee ballot to vote by mail. The legislation, H.B. 197, passed the General Assembly with a unanimous, bipartisan vote.

The 7.8 million postcards are currently in the data validation and printing phase. They are expected to begin arriving in mailboxes next week. Printing, applicable fees, and postage is estimated to be $2.4 million.

Interested voters may request a vote-by-mail ballot in one of the following ways:

• Visit VoteOhio.gov(opens in a new window), print, and fill out the vote-by-mail ballot request form, sign it, affix postage, and mail it to your county board of elections.
• Call your county board of elections and ask them to send you a ballot request form, fill out the form, sign it, affix postage, and mail it to your county board of elections.
• Voters who can’t print their own form may also simply write the following information on a blank sheet of paper and mail it to their board of elections:
• Full name
• Date of birth
• Full registration address including county
• Address where ballot should be mailed if different from your registration address
• One of the these: Ohio driver’s license number OR last four of your social security number OR include a copy of an acceptable form of ID
• State that “I’m a qualified elector and I’m requesting an absentee ballot for the March 17th Ohio primary”
• Indicate if you want a: Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, OR Issues Only ballot (choose only one)
• Sign it
• Today’s date
• Phone number (optional, but suggested)
• Email address (optional, but suggested)

April 28th is fast approaching, so we need to use every tool at our disposal to spread the word and ensure voters have the opportunity to cast a ballot. We appreciate your help, and encourage you to continue pointing people to VoteOhio.gov(opens in a new window) as their one-stop shop for election information. Below are some other useful links.


Help Spread the Word

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Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose
April 24, 2020

After LaRose Calls For Congressional Support, Postal Service Confirms Significant Upgrades To Speed Up Election Mail Delivery

COLUMBUS - Today Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced that changes being made by the United States Postal Service will lead to faster delivery of vote-by-mail-ballots to Ohioans’ homes. The changes come after Secretary LaRose sent a letter to Ohio’s congressional delegation regarding delays in mail delivery that were impacting how quickly Ohioans were receiving their vote-by-mail ballots. The letter can be viewed by clicking this link.

Today, Secretary LaRose spoke with USPS Deputy Postmaster General Ronald Stroman and Chief Operating Officer David Williams about the challenges and what could be done to resolve the issues which voters and elections officials had brought to his attention. As a result, significant improvements in mail delivery are taking place across Ohio. They include the following:

    * USPS will institute “all clear” processes to ensure all election mail is processed each day.
    * USPS will set up hand-to-hand delivery for election mail as it makes its way through processing on Saturday, from the board of elections to the distribution center.
    * Staff will recheck collection bins each day to ensure late arriving ballots are retrieved.
    * Postal facilities will track election mail deliveries to Ohio’s boards of elections starting on Monday, April 27th and continuing through May 8th.
    * To avoid further delivery delays in northwest Ohio, election mail will not be routed through the Detroit Regional Distribution Center. Instead it will be kept in-state. Additionally, an Ohio manager will be assigned to Detroit to ensure any mail mistakenly sent there is handled appropriately.
    * The United States Postal Service will assign their independent investigative unit to do additional “all clear” checks at Ohio facilities.

“I appreciate the extraordinary efforts that the USPS is taking in Ohio, where we are the first state to convert a traditional in-person election to an all vote-by-mail election in response to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. Ohio’s county boards of elections are doing everything within their power to bring this election to a successful conclusion, and the partnership of the USPS is crucial to their work.”

Ohio voters must get their ballots in the mail by April 27th or drop them off in the secure drop box at their county board of elections by 7:30pm on April 28th. There will be limited in-person voting only available to disabled and homeless voters at the county BOE facility on Tuesday April 28th. For all other voters, this is a vote-by-mail election only.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose
April 27, 2020


COLUMBUS – April 27th is the final day to mail in ballots in Ohio’s extended primary election. A ballot mailed in must be postmarked today in order to be counted under Ohio law. Ohioans can also drop off completed ballots in the secure drop box at their board of elections until 7:30pm on Tuesday, April 28th.

Today, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced that 1,975,806 Ohioans have requested a vote-by-mail ballot for the Ohio primary election and 1,458,936 voters have already cast their ballot. In the week since the last reported numbers, there has been a 50% increase in votes cast -- more than 480,000 ballots.

”In a matter of weeks, we’ve done something that’s taken other states years to do – transform our state into one capable of voting entirely by mail,” said LaRose. “But voters, you can’t delay a moment longer. Get your ballots in the mail today or drive to your county board of elections tomorrow before 7:30 p.m. and put them in their secure drop box.”

In response to reports of serious mail delays last week, Secretary LaRose worked with Ohio’s congressional delegation and spoke with the United States Postal Service’s Deputy Postmaster on April 24th about implementing significant improvements which have sped up delivery of election related mail. More about those improvements can be found by clicking here.

Data was collected by the Ohio Secretary of State’s office via a survey of Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections. Data as of the end of the vote-by-mail ballot request deadline at noon on April 25, 2020 includes the following:

[graphics 1,975,806 Absentee Ballots requested, 1,4858,936 Absentee Ballots Cast, 516,870 Outstanding absentee ballots]


In the 2020 presidential primary, voters across the state have the opportunity to vote in a number of local races, as well as a total of 482 local issues and questions across Ohio. For information on local races, please contact your local county board of elections.