OHIO VALLEY — The state legislature acted this week on how to vote in the March 17 primary election in which the polls were closed by an order of the Ohio Department of Health.
On March 16, just hours before voters across the state were to head to the polls to cast their ballot, the election was stalled, leading to lawsuits and questions about what would become of the primary election.
Now, the legislature has extended the voting window through April 28 with voting by mail only.
According to the Meigs County Board of Elections, voters have until noon on April 25 to request an absentee ballot. A written application must be submit in order to receive an absentee ballot. The application can be found online at https://www.boe.ohio.gov/comoh/Absentee_Request_11-A.pdf or is available by contacting your local board of elections. When completing the application, the date of the election to be listed is 03/17/2020.
If you choose to mail your application, send it in Meigs County to the Meigs County Board of Elections at 113 E. Memorial Dr., Suite A, Pomeroy, Ohio 45769, or in Gallia County to Gallia County Board of Elections, 18 Locust St., Gallipolis, Ohio 45631. There is no digital submission of applications, the board of elections must receive the paper form with your original signature.
If you are unable to print the application from the website, an application can be mailed by calling the Meigs County Board of Elections at 740-992-2697 or the Gallia County Board of Elections at 740-446-1600.
“Don’t wait until this deadline. Apply right now or as soon as possible,” encouraged the Meigs County Board of Elections.
Voters will also be receiving a postcard in the mail from the Secretary of State’s Office with instructions on how to receive an absentee ballot.
Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked by April 27, or sooner, in order to be counted.
Ballots can also be hand-delivered to the Meigs County Board of Elections ballot drop box located at the front entrance of the building until 7:30 p.m. on April 28.
In person voting will be conducted on a limited basis on April 28 at the Board of Elections office for disabled voters who wish to use the accessible voting equipment and for voters who cannot receive a ballot by mail. All others must vote by mail.
Voters who already voted, you do not need to request a new ballot. All votes previously cast by mail or in-person will be counted.
According to the VoteOhio.gov, tabulation of votes will begin on April 28 after the 7:30 p.m. deadline, but will be unofficial and may not include all absentee ballots. The official results will not be available until May 8.
For additional information contact the Meigs County Board of Elections at (740) 992-2697 or email us at Meigs@ohiosos.gov or the Gallia County Board of Elections at 740-446-1600 or visit VoteOhio.gov.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.