Editor, The Messenger:

During the 2020 Primary, millions of absentee ballots around the country were rejected, mainly because of minor errors. So it’s key to fill out and submit your absentee ballot carefully. With thousands of Athens County residents voting absentee in Ohio for the first time (including me) here are some tips to make your ballot count.

Please fill out the requested information carefully. Be sure to:

  • Include your entire driver’s license number or the last four digits of your Social Security Number
  • Include your date of birth in the appropriate spot
  • Sign the identification envelope

Please try to submit it as soon as you can. You have two choices: using a drop box or mailing it.

Using Drop Boxes

The original Athens County drop box is still behind the Board of Elections (15 S. Court Street) by the picnic tables; just walk down the alley between the BOE and the Courthouse. The new drive-through ballot drop box is located by the curb on the left side of Court Street between the BOE and the Courthouse.

Both drop boxes are well lit and have cameras on them 24/7. If you want to make certain that your ballot is safe, try to drop it off during BOE business hours.

It would be helpful to submit your ballot as soon as you can, but the deadline to use a drop box is when the polls close: 7:30 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Mailing your Ballot

Please try to put your ballot in the mail as soon as you can and no later than at least a week before, i.e. by Oct. 27. The absolute deadline for mailing your ballot is Nov. 2, the day BEFORE the election.

If for some reason you can’t mail your ballot until the last few days before the Nov. 2 deadline, please take your ballot into the post office and ask for them to postmark it to prove that you mailed it by the deadline.

Prefer to vote in person – If you have ordered an absentee ballot and now prefer to vote in person, there are two ways that you can still do that, so long as you have not submitted or mailed your absentee ballot:

  • First, you can go to the BOE (ideally with your ballot) during early vote, say that you prefer to vote in person, and vote early with a regular vote.
  • Second, you can go to the polls on Election Day. In this case you will have to cast a provisional ballot, but those are not as secure.

Thanks for voting in this important elections, Athens County!

Beth Clodfelter


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