House Bill 197, legislation dealing with the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, set April 28 as the final day of Ohio’s primary election.
Ohio’s Primary Election Day was set for March 17, until the Ohio Department of Health cancelled in-person voting due to potential health concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
One of the initial concerns, which lead to the postponement of the election, was the age of many poll workers, who are senior citizens and at greater risk to contract COVID-19.
Thanks to H.B. 197, those poll workers were kept safe and the election will still proceed, albeit in a different form. Any registered voter, who has not already voted in the Primary Election, must request an absentee ballot from their local Board of Elections.
Absentee ballot applications are available online at VoteOhio.gov. Voters can also call their county elections board to ask for a ballot request form.
Once the voter completes and sends back the request form, a ballot will be mailed. It must be returned to the Board of Elections, either postmarked by April 27 or hand-delivered by 7:30 p.m. April 28.
For those individuals not able to vote absentee, there will be limited in-person voting on April 28, according to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s website. The limited in-person voting will only occur on April 28 and only at boards of elections early vote centers, not at precinct polling locations.
This option is only available for individuals with disabilities, who require in-person voting, and for those who do not have a home mailing address.
If a registered voter has moved, but did not update their address, the voter may apply for a ballot and will receive a provisional ballot by U.S. mail from the Board of Elections. State law requires registration and address changes for the Primary Election to be completed by Feb. 18, so no new address changes or registrations are being accepted for the 2020 primary.
Tabulation of votes will begin on April 28 after 7:30 p.m. Ballots postmarked by April 27 will be counted, so final official results will not be available until May 8, which is a standard process period for every election.
The Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council endorsed Issue 21, a bond issue, to allow Columbus State Community College to remain accessible and affordable for the more than 45,000 students it serves each year.