Election 2020: How to vote in Ohio’s first mail-only primary

Ohio registered voters can still cast ballots for the March 17 primary election, but they’ll only be able to do so by mail.

For the first time in Ohio, there will be no traditional, in-person Election Day voting in this cycle, according to legislation passed last week by the Ohio House and Senate. The in-person voting that had been scheduled for March 17 was canceled via a state order amid fears of further spread of the coronavirus.

How to vote in the primary

Residents who were not registered to vote by the Feb. 18 deadline are not eligible for this election.

Voters who already cast absentee ballots in the weeks before March 17 don’t need to do anything else, according to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s office, as their votes will be counted as usual.

WANT TO VOTE? Click here for an absentee ballot application

Any other registered voter who wants to cast a primary ballot must request an absentee ballot. A ballot will be mailed and it must be returned to the board of elections, either postmarked by mail on April 27 or hand-delivered by 7:30 p.m. April 28.

Absentee ballot applications are available online at VoteOhio.gov. Voters can also call their county elections board to request a ballot request form.

According to the secretary of state, voters who cannot print their own form can also write the following information on a blank sheet of paper and mail it to their board of elections:

• Full name

• Date of birth

• Full registration address, including county

• Address where the ballot should be mailed if different from your registration address

• One of the these: Ohio driver’s license number, last four of your Social Security number or include a copy of an acceptable form of ID and write that “I’m requesting an absentee ballot for the March 17th Ohio Primary.”

• Indicate if you want a Democratic, Republican, Libertarian or Issues only ballot (choose only one)

• Sign it

• Date it on the day you sign it

• Phone number (optional, but suggested)

• Email address (optional but suggested)

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There will be limited in-person voting at boards of elections for those with disabilities and those who don’t receive mail at their home or other location.

Contested Republican races

The most high-profile race among the contested seats is for the 4th Ohio Senate District. Incumbent state Sen. Bill Coley, R-Liberty Twp., is term-limited, and state Rep. Candice Keller , Lee Wong and state Rep. George Lang are seeking the GOP nomination. Democrat Kathy Wyenandt, of Liberty Twp., will face the Republican winner in the November election.

RELATED: Three Republicans battle for state Senate seat

Incumbent 8th District U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Troy, faces West Chester Twp. resident Edward Meer. Meer and Davidson were two of the 16 Republicans seeking the party’s nomination in the 2016 race to replace former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, who retired from Congress in October 2015.

The winning Republican in the 52nd and 53rd House District races will face a Democratic opponent in November.

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Jennifer Gross and West Chester Twp. Trustee Mark Welch are seeking the 52nd House District seat, currently occupied by Lang. Democrat Chuck Horn, of West Chester Twp., will face the winning Republican in November.

Pastor Diane Mullins, Madison Twp. Trustee Thomas Hall and Monroe School Board member Brett Guido are seeking the 53rd House District seat, currently occupied by Keller. Middletown School board member Michelle Novak, a Democrat, will face the winning Republican in November.

A quartet of candidates are seeking the 12th District Court of Appeals GOP nomination — state Sen. Bill Coley, Butler County Common Pleas Judge Noah E. Powers II, and attorneys Matthew Byrne and Mary Lynne Birck. The winner will be unopposed in the November election.

Republicans Heather Cady and John Holcomb are seeking to succeed Judge Randy Rogers as judge in Butler County probate court. There is no Democrat seeking the bench.

Contested Democrat races

The winner of the GOP 8th Congressional District primary will face the winner of two former congressional Democratic nominees. Vanessa Enoch, of West Chester Twp., was the party’s 2018 nominee and Matthew Guyette, a Greenville resident, was the 2014 nominee, though he ran against Enoch and two other Democrats in 2018. Neither has held political office.

RELATED: A school board member, trustee and pastor face off for Statehouse nomination

Tax levies

All voters will see at least one of the following tax levies.

Hamilton is seeking an additional 3.9-mill levy over 10 years for road improvements.

Lemon and St. Clair townships are seeking fire levies — Lemon Twp. a renewal of its 3.8-mill fire district levy for five years and St. Clair Twp. an additional 3.5-mill continuing levy.

Midpointe Library System is seeking a renewal of its 0.75-mill levy for the next five years. Edgewood City School District is seeking a substitution 5.63-mill levy for five years.

RELATED: Retired Air Force officer faces West Chester trustee for Ohio House nomination

How to get an absentee ballot

Fill out the application form at VoteOhio.gov or request one from the Butler or Warren county board of elections:

Butler: 513-887-3700

Warren: 513-695-1358

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