Early voting underway in Ohio

TV2s Chip Reid explains the absentee voting process from the Portage County Board of Elections. 

TV2’s Chip Reid explains the absentee voting process from the Portage County Board of Elections. 

Ben Kindel

With the March primaries approaching in just under a month, primary season is in full swing. Yesterday, Feb. 17, was the first day for Ohio residents to start early voting.

Ohio has historically been a key state in the presidential elections, and that remains true in this upcoming primary election. The state offers its citizens who have registered to vote a convenient option to vote early— through absentee voting.

Absentee voting is an increasingly popular option and offers an easy way for busy voters, such as college students, to take part in the fundamental right of vote. 

“We offer two different types of absentee voting,” said Theresa Nielsen, deputy director for the Portage County Board of Elections. “One is absentee voting that takes place at the board of elections office and the other is absentee voting that takes place by mail.”

According to Nielsen, absentee voting is a simple process.

“If somebody wishes to receive an absentee ballot at their home, they need to complete an application and mail that to us,” she said. “Once we receive this and verify this information and make sure they have given us all the information we need, then we will mail them a ballot.” 

Requesting absentee ballots can be done on residents’ respective County Board of Elections website, or in person at their county’s Board of Election offices.

“Once (voters) get their ballot, they need to make sure that it is postmarked no later than March 14,” Nielsen said. “It must be received in our office within 10 days after the election, so before the 24th (of March).”

Early voting can also be done at the residents’ county’s board of elections office.

“If people wish to vote in our office, they can fill out an absentee application,” Nielsen said. “We verify their information, then we print them a ballot for the type of ballot they need.”

If you are interested in the early voting process, now is the time to start planning when and how you want to vote. 

According to Nielsen, people can vote absentee in the board of elections office beginning Feb.17 and the last day to vote absentee in the office is March 14 at 2 p.m. During the week of March 7, Nielsen said, the office is open until 7 p.m, including Saturday and Sunday.”

Ben Kindel is a political correspondent for the Kent Stater. For more information contact him at [email protected].