Absentee Ballot Request Forms From Outside Groups Can Be Confusing

Aug 20, 2020

Perhaps you’ve received an unsolicited absentee ballot application form in your mail. It could be legitimate. But it could also be from an unfamiliar group, and filling it out incorrectly could lead to errors that could delay getting your ballot on time. 

Wooster area resident Marilynn Rowdybush recently got an absentee ballot request form from a Washington DC group called Center for Voter Information.

“It looked like it was legitimate but when I went to fill it out, it didn’t fit into the envelope and it just struck me as being a little strange," Rowdybush says.

So, she took it to the Wayne County Board of Elections and found it was legitimate but was told she and others had omitted important information on it. And because of that, there could be delays in receiving the actual ballots.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose says the state will mail out its own ballot request forms around Labor Day. But unlike some of the ballot request forms being circulated by outside groups, the one from the state won't be pre-paid.

LaRose is hoping to get the Ohio Controlling Board to allow him to pay for postage on the actual ballots from a fund in his office that is designated for a different purpose.