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FAQ: How to vote early, by mail or absentee ballot in the 2020 general election

Tips for Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana
Kentucky vote by mail primary
Posted at 12:18 PM, Jul 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-01 17:56:45-04

All information up-to-date as of Sept. 1, 2020.

With many state leaders calling for voters to cast a ballot by mail in the general election, here's a step-by-step guide to mailing your ballot in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

OHIO

Voter Registration Deadline: Oct. 5
Early Voting Begins: Oct. 6

Request Absentee Ballot Deadline: Oct. 31
Request Mail-In Ballot Deadline: Oct. 31

Postmarked by: Nov. 2
Delivered by: Nov. 13

How do I request an absentee/mail-in ballot?

To request a ballot, complete this absentee ballot request form. Print it out, sign it and mail the request form back to your county board of elections.

Then, wait to receive your absentee ballot in the mail.

Once you fill it out, you can mail it back or deliver it in person to your local county elections board.

When should I mail back or return my ballot?

Ballots returned before polls close on Election Day will still be counted, as will ballots mailed back and postmarked no later than the day before the election and received by the board of elections no later than 10 days after the election. Don't forget: Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020.

What are my other voting options?

Any eligible voter can also cast a ballot early in-person at your county board of elections, starting on the day after voter registration closes (Oct. 5).

You will need to show ID to vote in Ohio. That includes an unexpired driver's license or state ID card, a military ID, a U.S.-issued photo ID that shows your name and current address and that has an expiration date that has not passed, or a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document (other than a notice of voter registration mailed by a board of elections) that shows your name and current address.

If you do not have any of those forms of ID, you can cast a provisional ballot by providing your Ohio driver's license, state identification number or the last four digits of your Social Security number. Once the information is reviewed and verified by the board of elections, your ballot will be counted.

You may need to cast a provisional ballot if your voter status is in flux. This could be because you recently moved and have not updated your voter information by the Oct. 5 deadline. For more information and scenarios which may require you to cast a provisional ballot, click here.

Click here to learn how to vote if you are a member of the armed forces or are otherwise overseas.

KENTUCKY

Voter Registration Deadline: Oct. 5
Early Voting Begins: Oct. 13

Request Absentee Ballot Deadline: Oct. 9
Request Mail-In Ballot Deadline: Oct. 9

Postmarked by: Nov. 2
Delivered by: Nov. 6

Who is eligible to vote by mail?

For this election, Kentucky's governor and secretary of state have agreed to allow any registered voter who believes voting in person could expose them to COVID-19 to vote by mail with an absentee ballot.

How do I request a ballot?

Find a ballot request form on Kentucky's online voter portal here. Then, click the top button, "Absentee Ballot Request," and fill in your information. Not registered to vote? Click here.

You can also walk into your county clerk's office to request a mail-in ballot in-person. For questions, find your local clerk's office contact information here. Use the drop-down menu to find your county.

You have until Oct. 9 to request a ballot. Votes will be counted as long as they are postmarked by Election Day, Nov. 3, and are received by the clerk's office by Nov. 6. If you're concerned with postal delays, will have the option to use ballot drop boxes, which will be placed by county clerks.

What are my other voting options?

Any registered Kentucky voter can cast a ballot early, for any reason, every work day between Oct. 13 and Election Day. You can also vote early on Saturdays for a four-hour period, which is determined by your local clerk's office.

If you were unable to get a driver’s license or photo ID because your clerk’s office was closed due to COVID-19, or because you didn't want to expose yourself to COVID-19, you can sign a document explaining your concern and cast a ballot at your local clerk's office.

INDIANA

Voter Registration Deadline: Oct. 5
Early Voting Begins: Oct. 6

Request Absentee Ballot Deadline: Oct. 22
Request Mail-In Ballot Deadline: Oct. 22

Postmarked by: Oct. 22
Delivered by: Oct. 22

How do I request a ballot?

Click here to download an Application for Absentee Ballot. You can print this off, fill it out and mail it back or return it in person to your county elections board. You can also email or fax it back.

Contact information for your local elections board is listed in the ballot request form here.

When is the deadline to submit a request for a ballot?

Your local Indiana elections board will need your ballot no later than Oct. 22.

What are my other voting options?

You can also vote in person at your clerk’s office from Oct. 6 through Nov. 2. Contact your county election Administrator for an early voting application, and be sure to bring a valid photo ID to vote in-person.

You will need to show state- or U.S. government-issued photo ID that displays your name, an expiration date (current or expired sometime after Nov. 6, 2018). That includes a driver's license or Indiana-issued photo ID, military ID or U.S. Passport. A student ID from an Indiana state school may be used if it shows your name and has an expiration date, but a student ID from a private institution cannot be used for voting.

If you're a first-time voter who registered by mail, you will also need to provide proof of residence, like an Indiana driver's license or Indiana ID card, any current and valid photo ID, or a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document.

You may cast a provisional ballot if you are unable present an ID that meets those requirements. You would have until noon 10 days after the election (Nov. 13) to follow up with the county election board to provide the necessary documents or affirm one of the law's exemptions applies to you.

The deadline to vote by mail for people serving in the military is Oct. 22, 2020.

For more information, visit the Indiana Voters website and click the blue "Visit My Voter Portal" button. A pop-up window will appear to ask for your voter information.

WCPO 9 is committed to giving you better access to the democratic process by providing resources you need to cast a vote in the 2020 general election. For more resources, FAQs and more, visit our Elections 2020 tab here.

    • Ohio
    • Kentucky
    • Indiana
    Ohio

    Key Dates and Deadlines In Ohio

    Mon, Oct. 5: Voter Registration Deadline
    Tue, Oct. 6: Early Voting Begins
    Sat, Oct. 31: Request Absentee/Mail-In Ballot Deadline
    Mon, Nov. 2: Absentee/Mail-In Postmark by Date
    Tues, Nov. 3: In-Person Voting
    Fri, Nov. 13: Absentee/Mail-In Delivered By Date

    Kentucky

    Key Dates and Deadlines in Kentucky

    Mon, Oct. 5: Voter Registration Deadline
    Fri, Oct. 9: Request Absentee/Mail-In Ballot Deadline
    Tue, Oct. 13: Early Voting Begins
    Mon, Nov. 2: Absentee/Mail-In Postmark by Date
    Tues, Nov. 3: In-Person Voting
    Fri, Nov. 6: Absentee/Mail-In Delivered By Date

    Indiana

    Key Dates and Deadlines in Indiana

    Mon, Oct. 5: Voter Registration Deadline
    Tue, Oct. 6: Early Voting Begins
    Thur, Oct. 22: Request Absentee/Mail-In Ballot Deadline
    Thur, Oct. 22: Absentee/Mail-In Postmark by Date
    Tues, Nov. 3: In-Person Voting