Absentee and early in-person voting begins Tuesday for the Nov. 3 General Election.
Over the course of the next four weeks, voters will be able to vote from home by mail 24/7 and have more than 200 hours to vote early in person, according to Jon Husted, Ohio secretary of state.
Husted also announced the launch of an online resource for the three statewide issues appearing on the November ballot. Accessible via MyOhioVote.com, voters can view an educational video, ballot language, explanations and arguments for and against each issue. This webpage also provides easy access to websites for proponents and opponents of each issue if available.
“The state issues voters are being asked to consider in this election will have a dramatic and lasting impact on Ohio’s Constitution if passed,” Husted said. “It is very important that every voter know exactly what they are voting on and how it will change our state.”
In addition to the three statewide issues on the ballot this November, voters will also decide 1,736 local issues, including levies for police and fire services as well as school funding, will appear on ballots across Ohio.
Among the local issues will be the election for Hillsboro mayor between incumbent Republican Drew Hastings and Democratic challenger Pam Limes. Village races, school board races, township trustee and township fiscal officer contests are also on the ballot across Highland County, along with some cemetery and local liquor options. Online readers can view a recap of all races by clicking here. Two Lynchburg council seats for unexpired terms were later determined not to be valid to appear on the General Election ballot.
In-person early voting in Highland County takes place in Hillsboro at the board office at 1575 N. High St., Suite 200. Hours of operation for the board office during early voting are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on each weekday (Monday through Friday).
During week four of early voting, the hours will be:
• 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on each weekday (Monday through Friday).
• 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Saturday before Election Day
• 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Sunday before Election Day
• 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Monday before Election Day.
Husted said he has established uniform hours for in-person absentee voting, “ensuring that all voters have fair and equal access to the ballot during the 2015 General Election and can vote over the course of four weeks, including the Saturday and a Sunday before Election Day.”
Boards will begin mailing absentee ballots at the start of the early voting period to those who have requested them. Voters must complete, sign and seal their voted ballots, taking care to provide the required information, including proper identification, said Husted.
Voted ballots must be postmarked the day before Election Day and received no later than the 10th day after the election (Nov. 13, 2015). Absentee ballots may also be delivered in person to boards of elections no later than the close of the polls on Election Day. They may not be returned at polling locations.
Voters have until Saturday, Oct. 31 at noon to request an absentee ballot by mail, though they should do it as soon as possible to allow for plenty of time to receive, complete and return their ballot, said Husted. In addition to the statewide mailing, voters can also get an absentee ballot by contacting their county board of elections for more information, or by downloading an absentee ballot request form at MyOhioVote.com.
Ballots for military and overseas voters became available on Sept.19. Military voters who have not yet registered to vote or submitted a request for an absentee ballot may still do so by visiting OhioMilitaryVotes.com or OhioVoterPassport.com for overseas voters.
There they can download the Federal Post Card Application, register to vote and request an absentee ballot, read through frequently asked questions, track the status of their mailed ballot and sign up for election reminders via email and social media. All voters can also contact their county board of elections directly for more information.
All voters are encouraged to connect with “OhioSOSHusted” on Facebook and Twitter to get election information and updates throughout the year. There they can also get a virtual voting sticker badge to let their friends and followers know they’ve participated in the General Election. Facebook users simply need to “like” Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s official Facebook page to “wear” a virtual sticker on their wall. Twitter users may share their voting badge by visiting the Secretary of State’s website.