ST. CLAIRSVILLE - This fall every registered voter in Ohio will receive an absentee ballot application in the mail in time for the Nov. 6 presidential election, said Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted.
There are more than 6 million registered voters in the state, and the cost of printing and postage for the mailing will be about $3 million, he added. The applications will go out shortly after Labor Day to all registered voters - whether they want one or not.
Voters will receive a letter from Husted asking the potential absentee voter for their name, address and date of birth, as well as the last four digits of their Social Security number or Ohio driver's license.
Photo by Joselyn King
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted shows a copy of the letter that will be sent to all registered voters in Ohio next fall. The letter contains an absentee ballot application.
The application section of the letter then is mailed by the voter to their respective county board of election, where workers will check to verify the information and then send the registered voter an absentee ballot, Husted said. He said voting by mail is becoming more popular in the state.
There are three times the absentee ballot gets checked: "Once when it goes to the voter, once the voter requests, and a third when they return it," Husted said. "I believe it is as secure as to vote on Election Day."
Husted said it was his idea to send out the absentee ballot applications to all Ohio voters to address a problem he felt existed in Ohio. He said he saw a lack of uniformity across the state in how absentee ballot applications were distributed.
"In some counties, they would send out these absentee ballots, and in some counties they wouldn't," Husted said. "In some counties they voted on Sundays, and others didn't."
He said different rules in different counties was objectionable to him, and that this practice raised equal protection issues under the U.S. Constitution.
"I wanted some uniformity in this, and worked with the Legislature to see (Help America Vote Act) dollars were appropriated for the purpose," Husted added.