Absentee ballots available

Amber Wade

Though the March 6 primary is still more than two weeks away, voters eager to cast their ballot can opt to vote via an absentee ballot.

Anyone registered to vote in the state of Ohio can request an absentee ballot at the Kent State main library through the reference desk. The forms are available at the desk or can be printed out online and brought in, and the library will then turn them in to the county board of elections.

Kara Robinson, head of reference services for the library, said the service tends to be more popular in the fall, but students have been coming in as the primary approaches.

Robinson said the library also accepts voter registration forms, and though the deadline to register to vote in the March primary has passed, people can still register for the November election up until 30 days before the election.

Why should I care?

  • Local issues, such as school levies, are on the ballot.
  • Representatives to congress and senators are also on the ballot.

Voters registered in Portage County can also request to be sent an application for an absentee ballot in the mail by calling the Portage County Board of Elections or can print off the application on the board’s website (www.co.portage.oh.us/election) and submit it through the mail. After submitting an application, voters will be sent an absentee ballot to fill out and mail back.

“You receive it and vote at your leisure and mail it back,” said Linda Marcial, director of the Portage County Board of Elections.

Voters can also stop by the Board of Elections and cast their ballot in person. Marcial said the offices will be open regular hours from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday in addition to Saturdays from 8 a.m. until noon until the Friday before the election, when voting ends at 6 p.m. Voters who choose to vote in person need to have either a current Ohio driver’s license or the last four digits of their social security number when they go in to vote.

Marcial said that voters who choose to stop in early and vote are able to forego the lengthy lines associated with voting on Election Day. She said they’ve currently received about 900 absentee ballots, most of which have been received by mail.

Contact Amber Wade at [email protected].