On March 17 — the original slated date for the Ohio Primary Election — Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton ordered the polls to close just eight hours before voting was to begin, citing the department's powers under the Ohio Revised Code to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and fear of the virus' quickly escalating growth.
Under a new process eliminating in-person voting during the current pandemic (save for those with disabilities and those experiencing homelessness), for a vote to count in the Ohio Primary, mail-in ballots — also referred to as "absentee ballots" — must be dropped off at local boards of election by 7:30 p.m. April 28 or postmarked by April 27 and received by May 8.
So, if you are a resident of Hamilton County and you followed the convoluted and some say possibly disenfranchising process of procuring or printing out an application to vote by mail, filled it out and then dropped it in a mail box, at the post office or perhaps drove to the Hamilton County Board of Elections in Norwood and placed it in their drop-box in hopes of receiving an absentee ballot by mail to then fill out and again mail in to make your voice heard in the Ohio Primary and you have not yet received an absentee ballot back, don't be alarmed.
The Hamilton County BOE says your application has not been lost and/or you may have also made a mistake. They say they have been processing thousands of absentee ballot applications daily and mailing thousands of ballots to county voters.
But some ballots have been held up because people didn't fill out the form correctly. Each application form needed to have which ballot you wanted to receive marked: Democratic/Issues, Republican/Issues, Libertarian/Issues or Issues Only. As the BOE says, "A Primary Election is where parties nominate their candidates for the November 3 General Election, and you can only select one ballot style."
If you haven't submitted your ballot request yet, make sure you fill this part out.
If you have submitted your request and you're worried you effed this up, you can check the status of your absentee ballot and track its progress on the BOE website.
Go to votehamiltoncountyohio.gov and enter your information here, where it says "Track Your Absentee Ballot":
It will tell you if your application has been received and processed. If it hasn't been, then you can worry that it got lost in the mail and fill out another one.
You can also call the BOE at 513-632-7000.