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Coronavirus in Ohio: Absentee ballots delayed for some

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A bowl of stickers for those taking advantage of early voting, Sunday, March 15, 2020, in Steubenville, Ohio. Elections officials in the four states, Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio, holding presidential primaries next week say they have no plans to postpone voting amid widespread disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Instead, they are taking extraordinary steps to ensure that voters can cast ballots and polling places are clean. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

LAWRENCE COUNTY, OH (WOWK) — Voters across the Buckeye State may not have yet received their absentee ballots even though they applied to receive one by the Saturday, April 25, 2020 deadline. It comes down to mail delivery, that’s according to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose says slow mail deliveries may have left voters without their ballots. Those ballots must be postmarked by Monday, April 27, 2020, or turned in to your local board of elections office by 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28, 2020.

“[We received] 1,400 [applications] one Monday, the next Monday, it was 1,100,” said Cathy Snider, Director at the Lawrence County Board of Elections, who went on to praise her staff. “I have absolutely the best team in the entire state. They are amazing. They are all pretty seasoned, they’ve been with me for a long time, and they just make it happen.”

If you are one of the many voters who applied for an absentee ballot before or by the deadline, but did not receive that absentee ballot, you will now be able to cast a provisional ballot. But before you do, officials are asking you to call the Lawrence County Board of Elections, or BOE, at (740) 532-0444 before showing up on election day as your ballot could still arrive at your home on Tuesday, April 28, 2020.

“If we have hundreds of people show up, because of the court house being closed, then they’re going to be lined up outside, you won’t have your social distancing,” said Randall Lamber, member of the BOE. “We would ask that they not come unless it’s absolutely necessary.”

For voters in Lawrence County, if you have not yet mailed out your absentee ballot, it may be a better idea to take it to the drop-off box on the 5th Street side of the Lawrence County Courthouse in Ironton than it is to mail it. However, if you decide to mail back your ballot and it is post marked by April 27, 2020, your vote will count as long as the BOE receives it by May 8, 2020.

The March Ohio Primary was postponed back in March due to COVID-19 concerns.

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