Ohio Primary Election Voters: Apply for your Vote-By-Mail ballot today

Tips on how and when to apply for your vote-by-mail ballot

You still have time to vote in the Presidential Primary, but don't wait until the last minute to apply for your vote-by-mail ballot! Here is all the information you need.

Ohio Voters!

If you have already voted in Ohio’s primary (early in person or with an absentee ballot), you’re good to go! Your vote will be counted when the election period is over, along with all the other ballots.

If you haven’t yet voted, it’s not too late! You need to apply for your vote-by-mail ballot as soon as possible. Here’s how:

Call the Board of Elections (BOE) to request a vote by mail application. Here’s a directory of county BOEs: https://www.ohiosos.gov/elections/elections-officials/county-boards-of-elections-directory/ (You can check where you’re registered at voteohio.gov.)

[Special note for Ohio Students who registered where they were at school: make sure to request the ballot application from, and return it to, the county where you are registered to vote!]


Print out and complete an application, then mail it to (or drop it off at) the BOE where you’re registered. (Use 3/17, 4/28, or 6/2 as the date for the primary.) Here’s a link to the form: https://www.ohiosos.gov/elections/voters/absentee-ballot/

No printer? No worries. You can write out the required information on a regular piece of paper and then mail it to or drop it off at the BOE where you are registered. Here’s all the info you need to include:

  • Your name;
  • Your legal signature;
  • The address at which you are registered to vote;
  • Your date of birth;
  • One of the following items showing proof of your identification:
    • Your Ohio driver’s license number (begins with two letters followed by six numbers);
    • The last four digits of your Social Security number; or
    • A copy of a current and valid photo identification, a military identification, or a current (within the last 12 months) utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document (other than a notice of voter registration mailed by a board of elections) that shows the voter’s name and current address.
  • A statement identifying the election for which you are requesting an absentee ballot;
  • A statement that you are a qualified elector;
  • If the request is for a partisan primary election ballot, your political party affiliation; and
  • If you want the ballot to be mailed to a different address than where you are registered, the address to which you want it mailed.

Make sure you fill out your ballot application correctly the first time. Here’s some help.

  • # 2: Put your birth date — not today’s date.
  • # 3: Put in your current address, the one you used to register to vote. [NOTE: If you have moved and need to update your voter registration, put in your new address. You will be sent a provisional ballot. Make sure you follow the instructions carefully.]
  • #4: You only need to fill this in if you want your ballot mailed somewhere different from the address at which you are registered.
  • #6: Check “Primary” and put 3/17 (4/28 and 6/2 also OK). Don’t forget to add info on the type of ballot you want, Democrat, Republican, or Issue Only.
  • #7: Don’t forget to sign and date!

Some Dates to Remember: Officially you have until April 25 to request a ballot, but if you wait that long your ballot is likely to arrive late and your vote won’t count. ACT TODAY to make sure your ballot arrives in time! All ballots must be postmarked by April 27, or turned in at your Vote Center (usually the board of elections) by April 28.

Here’s a Tip: Don’t put your voted ballot in a mail box. Bring it in to the postoffice to make sure it is postmarked!

Track your ballot! Not sure if your application was received or your ballot is on its way? You can track your ballot! Find your county ballot tracker here https://www.sos.state.oh.us/elections/voters/toolkit/ballot-tracking/

Questions? Contact your BOE, or email Common Cause Ohio at mlewis@commoncause.org.

See More: Voting & Elections