Early voting options available

Early voting underway for March 19 Primary Election

By Sheri Trusty

Absentee and early in-person voting for the March 19 Primary is underway at the Seneca County Board of Elections (BOE). Absentee voting can be completed by mail or in person.

Absentee Voting by Mail

To receive an absentee ballot by mail, the voter must first submit a completed absentee application to the BOE. The BOE cannot accept emails or phone calls for ballot requests but must receive an original paper application before it can send a ballot. According to Ohio law, the only acceptable application form is Form 11-A.

Absentee applications must be received at the BOE office by mail or drop box, or they can be brought into the office. Applications cannot be accepted by fax, scan or email. Absentee applications for the March 19 Primary can be received through March 12 at 8:30 p.m. Ohio does not have a permanent absentee list. An application must be requested for every election.

Many times, during a Presidential Election, voters receive multiple applications in the mail.  These can come from the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office, political parties, candidates or voter interest groups.  The BOE cannot send applications unless a voter specifically requests one from the Seneca County Board of Elections. If the BOE receives more than one application from a voter, that application will be marked as a duplicate.

Absentee applications can be printed off at

Absentee ballots that are mailed in must be postmarked by March 18, the day before the election. Absentee ballots that are physically dropped off must be taken to the BOE office by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day to be counted. They cannot be accepted at polling locations.

Early In-Person Voting

The BOE office is the only location for early in-person voting. Anyone wishing to vote early, in person at the BOE office must provide a valid photo ID. Acceptable IDs include an Ohio driver’s license, State of Ohio ID card, Ohio Interim Documentation form issued by the Ohio BMV, U.S. passport, U.S. passport card, U.S. military ID card, Ohio National Guard ID card or U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs ID card.

All photo IDs must have the following information: an expiration date that has not passed, a photograph of the voter, and the voter’s name, which must substantially conform to the voter’s name as it appears in the poll list or in the pollbook.

An unexpired Ohio Driver License, State ID Card, or Interim Documentation with your former address is an acceptable form of ID when your current address is in the pollbook.

Important Upcoming Dates

Important dates to note regarding the March 19 Primary Election are:

The last day to register to vote is Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 9 p.m. The last day the BOE can accept Absentee Applications is Tuesday, March 12 at 8:30 p.m. The last day to vote early at the BOE office is Sunday, March 17 at 5 p.m.

Because this is a Primary Election, voters will be asked to choose a ballot based on party. If a voter is independent/nonpartisan, they need to request an Issues Only ballot. If there are no issues, there will be no ballot for an independent/nonpartisan voter.

Election Day voters must vote at their polling locations, not the BOE office.

The Seneca County Board of Elections office is at 71 S. Washington St., Suite 1101, in Tiffin. For more information, call 419-447-4424 or visit