Absentee Voting > Information & Eligibility
INFORMATION & ELIGIBILITY
When does absentee voting begin and end?
Absentee voting begins THE DAY AFTER THE CLOSE OF REGISTRATION for any given election. (This is typically 29 days before the election, but could possibly be 28 days if a holiday pushes back the voter registration deadline).
Once absentee ballots are available for voting, any voter may receive and return an absentee ballot in person at the county Board of Elections office, or receive and return the absentee ballot by U.S. Mail. Absentee ballots must either be postmarked by the day before the election, or delivered in person to the Board of Elections by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.
Can I vote “early” in person?
In Person Absentee “Early” Voting is available at our offices at 200 Vanover Street, Wooster. Please see the current election information on our home page for a link to the current schedule. While voting early in person is a form of absentee voting, the process is essentially the same as when you vote on election day, with the same identification requirements.
Who is eligible to vote by absentee ballot?
Any qualified Ohio voter may request and vote an absentee ballot without stating a reason.
What is the application process for obtaining an absentee ballot?
Ohio law provides separate application processes for different classifications of absentee voters (militia, armed services, overseas, etc.). In all cases, absentee ballots must be applied for in writing. If you are properly registered to vote, you must submit your written request to the Board of Elections of the county in which your voting residence is located. Your request must contain certain information and your original signature. You are required to use an application form prescribed by the Ohio Secretary of State. Military and overseas voters may continue to use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) or submit a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB). Note: State and federal law make additional accommodations for military and overseas voters. Please visit MilitaryVotes.Ohio.gov for more information
Note: Please read all instructions carefully, print the form (the form is an Adobe PDF file), complete and sign it and mail to:
Wayne County Board of Elections
200 Vanover St. Suite 1
Wooster, OH 44691-4849
If you are not an active duty member of Ohio’s organized militia (including the Ohio Air National Guard, Ohio Army National Guard, Ohio Naval Militia, and Ohio Military Reserve), an active duty member of the U.S. armed services serving outside of Ohio, or a U.S. citizen residing outside of the U.S., you are considered a “regular” absentee voter for the purpose of this guide.
Absentee Voting Deadlines
To receive your absentee ballot:
- In person: You may go to the Board of Elections office of the county in which your voting residence is located during regular business hours after absentee ballots are available for voting, and request, receive and vote your ballot at the Board office.
- By mail: You may mail your properly completed absentee ballot application bearing your original signature to the Board of Elections of the county in which your voting residence is located. The Board must receive your request by the close of business on the seventh day before election day. However, you should submit your request as far in advance of the election as possible to ensure there is sufficient time for the board to mail you a ballot and for you to timely return that ballot.
- By fax or email: If you are a military or overseas voter, you may fax or rmail your absentee ballot request to the Board of Elections of the county in which your voting residence is located. The Board must receive your request by the close of business on the seventh day before election day. You may request that the Board fax or email your ballot to you, but you must return your marked ballot by mail.
- Note: State and federal law make additional accommodations for military and overseas voters. Please visit MilitaryVotes.Ohio.gov for more information.
For your absentee ballot to be counted, it must be received as follows:
- If cast from anywhere in the U.S. and you return it by mail, it must be postmarked no later than the day before the election and received by the Board of Elections no later than the fourth day after Election Day. If you return it in person or if a near relative delivers it to the Board for you, it must be delivered to the Board of Elections no later than the close of polls on Election Day.
- If you are a military voter or a voter outside the U.S. on Election Day, your ballot envelope must be signed by the close of polls on Election Day and received by your county Board of Elections no later than the fourth day after Election Day.
- If returned in-person to the Board of Elections, absentee ballots must be received at your local county Board of Elections on Election Day by 7:30 p.m. (the close of the polls).
For more information about Absentee Voting, including other types of Absentee Ballot Forms, visit the Ohio Secretary of State’s website.
For more information about how the United States Postal Service (USPS) handles Election Mail, please visit their Election Mail page.