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Early and absentee voting for March primary underway in Ohio

Ohio voted sticker
Jo Ingles
Statehouse News Bureau
Ohio voted sticker

Early and mail-in voting kicked off Wednesday, meaning that through March 17, registered Ohioans can cast early ballots in the 2024 presidential and U.S. Senate primaries statewide and on other candidates and issues locally.

County boards of elections will hold early voting hours every weekday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for three weeks—and then extended hours closer to Election Day. The extended hours include:

  • March 9, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 
  • March 11, from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. 
  • March 12, from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. 
  • March 13 through 15, from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. 
  • March 16, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 
  • March 17, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

Absentee ballots are also going out now to voters who have already asked for them, according to Secretary of State Frank LaRose. Those mail-in ballots can be requested by any voter here, with applications due seven days before Election Day.

“The real point is there's three good choices,” LaRose said in an interview. “None of them are bad. They're all secure, they're all convenient. It’s just a matter of picking which one works best for you: absentee voting by mail, early voting in person or Election Day voting.”

But it's key to bring proper identification when voting in person, LaRose said. Under a state law that took effect in early 2023, voters must present one of a number of forms of photo ID at the polls. According to the secretary's website, the legal forms include:

  • Ohio driver's license
  • State of Ohio ID card
  • Interim ID form issued by the Ohio BMV
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. passport card
  • U.S. military ID card
  • Ohio National Guard ID card
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs ID card

Since the March primary determines who will advance to the November ballot from each major party, Ohioans will be asked whether they’re casting a partisan ballot or an issues-only ballot.

“You're choosing whether you want to vote in the Democratic primary or the Republican primary,” LaRose said. “When you make that choice, you are also really declaring your party affiliation.”

Election Day is scheduled for Tuesday, March 19.

Sarah Donaldson covers government, policy, politics and elections for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. Contact her at