COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has announced his office will begin mailing absentee ballot applications to voters statewide this weekend. The aim of this initiative is to increase voter engagement ahead of the 2016 Presidential Election in November, as well as to encourage voters to consider casting their ballot early.
“Early absentee voting has many benefits. It is convenient for voters for sure, and when voters cast ballots by mail, it reduces the chance of lines at the polls on Election Day,” Husted said.
Voters need only fill out and return the application at their convenience and their absentee ballot will be mailed to them so they may make their selections at their leisure and return their ballot to the board of elections ahead of Election Day.
“One myth we want to dispel is that absentee ballots don’t get counted until after Election Day. The truth is that absentee ballots are the first votes counted on Election Night,” Husted said. “Voting absentee is easy and convenient – you never stand in a line and you don’t need to leave home to vote.”
The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Nov. 5 at noon (three days before the General Election), but voters can submit their application any time. If mailed, absentee ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 7 in order to be counted. You can also return your absentee ballot in-person to your county board of elections before the close of the polls at 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.
Husted also announced the launch of the 2016 voter rducation vampaign to raise awareness for early voting and encourage Ohioans to participate in the election this fall.
Advertisements will air on television, radio and the internet for approximately two weeks, beginning on September 6, 2016.
The advertisements are placed to ensure voters in every part of the state are reached, including:
Every television market of Ohio, each with nearly 700 Target Rating Points.
More than 100 radio stations across the state, including urban, Hispanic, news and talk stations and small market stations, delivering more than 4,000 commercials to reach all major segmented audiences.
More than 6.4 million impressions via digital ads using banners and pre-roll advertising to reach younger voters.
The State Controlling Board approved $549,411 for use in the voter education campaign in July. This is compared to $210,000 that was spent on voter education advertisements during the administration of Secretary Husted’s predecessor and $3.2 million was spent during the administration before that.
Funding for this effort was made possible by Husted’s commitment to fiscal responsibility, spending $14.5 million less during his first term as Secretary of State than the previous administration. Staffing levels are down and in fiscal year 2016, payroll costs were at their lowest level in nine years. In 2015, Secretary Husted was the only statewide officeholder to seek a cut, not an increase, in the most recent budget. You can learn more by clicking here and scrolling to page two.
“By making our office run more efficiently, we’ve cut bureaucracy and costs, which we can now invest in improving other services and this voter education campaign is just one example,” added Husted.
An image of the statewide absentee ballot application mailing is available for download by visiting http://files.constantcontact.com/b01249ec501/7bf3d8e5-3bb4-437c-84cc-381689eea966.pdf.