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Tip For Absentee Voters: Read The Instructions

Instructional pamphlet that comes with absentee ballots.
Andy Chow
Instructional pamphlet that comes with absentee ballots.

Voter rights groups have a message to people who are new to filling out mail-in absentee ballots: read through the instructions on the ballots carefully. Advocates say there are several ways a voter can get tripped up which is why it's important to send the ballot in early.

For Ohio absentee mail-in ballots there's an envelope requiring a voter to provide information to verify their identity and an outer envelope that protects that information. The ballot without both envelopes is considered “naked”. A Pennsylvania court has rejected “naked ballots” but that ruling doesn’t apply in Ohio.

Kayla Griffin, state director for All Voting Is Local, says the most important thing is to read through all the instructions.  

"So if it says fill it out in black ink, fill it out in black ink. And do now wait to fill out your ballot and return it, do it as quickly as possible," says Griffin. 

Griffin says returning a ballot quickly gives a voter more time to fix an issue if a mistake is made.

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