COVID-19 & the 2020 Election



With a few exceptions the primary is now only vote by mail.

Check out OVRC's video webinar, reviewing what happened, why, and how to cast your vote in Ohio's extended 2020 primary election. 


The Cliff Notes Version...

1. Fill out an absentee ballot application

2. Send your completed application to your County Board of Elections

3. Receive your ballot in the mail - Vote your ballot - Mail your completed ballot back to your county Board of Elections

4. Check the status of your absentee ballot application and mail-in ballot along the way

Applying for an Absentee Ballot

In order to receive a vote-by-mail ballot, the voter is responsible for sending an application for that ballot to their county Board of Elections (BOE)

  • Click here to print the application OR

  • Call your local Board of Election to have them mail you an application OR

  • Mail your BOE a written request stating "I'm requesting an absentee ballot for the March 17th Ohio Primary" with the following information on a blank sheet of paper:

    • full name

    • date of birth 

    • full registration address including county

    • address where ballot should be mailed if different from your registration address;

    • EITHER your Ohio driver's license number OR your last four of your Social Security number;

    • indicate if you want a democratic, republican, libertarian, or issues only ballot. 

    • Sign and date the letter. It is recommended to include a phone number and email address. 

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Filling out the Application

Make sure to take your time filling out the application correctly.


Check out our 5 tips to ensure your application is accepted.

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Absentee Request Mistakes.jpg

What are the exceptions?

There will be limited in-person voting on April 28th ONLY for individuals with disabilities who require in-person voting and those who do not have a home mailing address.

In-person voting will only take place at county county Boards of Elections. There will be no voting at local precinct polling locations.  

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Tracking my Absentee Ballot

Within 3 to 5 days of sending your absentee ballot application and/or your mail-in ballot to the board of elections, its best to check and ensure that your sent mail was received and processed.  

To check the status of your ballot, click here and then click on your county to be redirected to right election portal for your place of residence.

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I Didn't Receive my Absentee Ballot

Registered voters who properly requested an absentee ballot before the April 25 deadline and didn't receive it can cast a provisional ballot at their county Board of Elections on April 28. 

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Primary Election Dates

Before we share dates, keep in mind that it is critical that you apply for an absentee ballot and mail your voted-ballot back to your local Board of Elections as soon as possible. 

Although the Secretary of State and Boards of Elections are working hard to fulfill their duties, delays and hiccups in the process may occur due to several uncertainties that have arisen during this public health crisis, like:

  • All businesses, including the U.S. Postal Service and print shops (both now essential to this election) are expected to have increased delays in service due to the public health crisis.  

  • The elections administration in Ohio is not currently set up to administer an entire election by mail. 


With that said...

  • Mail takes 3 to 5 days each way under normal circumstances.

  • Your completed mail-in ballot must be postmarked by April 27, 2020 AND received by the board of elections by May 8, 2020 to be counted

  • Tabulation of votes will begin on April 28, 2020 after 7:30 p.m. 

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Help Get Out the Vote while #StayingHome

Governments and organizations are acting quickly to adapt as this crisis evolves. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and share our updates to help Ohioans stay informed of the latest in news updates and changes to policy and procedure. Social media is a great way to personally reach out to massive numbers of people in an instant to share essential and timely information.



We may be socially/physically isolating, but we have also been encouraged to get outside, take a walk, enjoy our local parks, etc. While we cannot have close contact with each other, we can drop-off information about “How to Vote in the Ohio Primary Election” in newspaper boxes and screen doors or post on park billboards, etc.  Click here to find a printable flyer for you to take on your next walk! 


Make five (5) calls to five (5) family members or friends. If they are a registered voter in Ohio, make sure they know how to cast a primary ballot. Then, ask each of them to call five (5) friends and family. Not only will this message begin to grow, but it also gives you the opportunity to reach out to old friends!


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