You Can Change Your Mind If You Don't Want To Vote By Mail After All

Sep 29, 2020

More than two million Ohioans have requested absentee ballots to be sent to them. But some of those voters are having second thoughts. If you are one of them, it's ok. You have options. 

Westlake resident Tony DiBiasio ordered a mail-in ballot. But he’s been reading news stories that raise questions about the safety of mail-in voting. And that's caused him rethink that decision. 

“So I was looking at the possibility of going and voting in person," DiBiasio says.

DiBiasio’s board of elections told him if he voted in person instead, he’d have to vote a provisional ballot. That’s only true if he’d go on Election Day itself.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has issued a directive clarifying people who change their minds about mail-in ballots and decide they want to vote in person, early at local boards of elections can do so on a regular ballot. Whether you vote early in-person or by mail doesn't matter. They are all considered absentee ballots under this directive. Those ballots will be counted and reflected as absentee ballots on Election Night. If a voter has received their mail-in ballot, they should bring it with them. If not, they'll still be allowed to vote and the mail-in ballot will be invalidated by the board.

However, if you ordered an absentee mail-in ballot and show up at your polling place on Election Day itself, you'll have to cast a provisional ballot. Those ballots are typically counted in the days following Election Day. 

Secretary of State LaRose's directive is meant to make it clear to local boards of elections how to proceed in these circumstances. Absentee ballots are on par to set a record in this election. And there will likely be voters who requested a mail-in ballot who will have a change of heart by October 6th, the first day of early voting.