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Government & Politics

The Timing of Ohio's Primary Could be Key to Determining Both Democratic and GOP Nominees

Jon Husted

  This week includes two key dates for people who want to vote in Ohio’s March 15th primary. And Ohio’s secretary of state says there’s a key reason for people to follow through. 

Tomorrow (Tuesday) is the last day people can register to vote, and boards of elections in all 88 counties will be open until 9 p.m. Then, at 8 Wednesday morning, early voting – in person or by mail – begins.

In 2012, Ohio held its presidential primary on Super Tuesday, sharing billing with nine other states. But this year Ohio delayed its primary. And Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted says timing and a largely divided electorate may make that decision especially important.

“Ohio literally could be the primary election day where both the Democratic and Republican nominees are selected because we’re a winner take all state. It’s a big sweepstakes day.”

Also holding primaries on March 15th  are the delegate-rich states of Florida, Illinois and North Carolina as well as Missouri. In all, Republicans and Democrats in nearly 30 states will have voted before Ohio, along with voters in places like Guam and American Somoa. 

Glitches addressed?
Nearly a thousand mail-in ballots weren’t counted in November’s election in Summit County because the post office failed to put postmarks on them.

Secretary of State Jon Husted says he’s made some tweaks since then.

Husted: Vote early

​“Instead of merely reading a postmark we also give the option to the board of reading the bar code that may also be on that envelop if it arrives late. But ...  Don’t wait ‘til the last minute. Send your ballot in early so that you’ll be sure it will arrive before Election Day and it will be counted on election night.”

Ohio is one of only 12 states that counts ballots that arrive after Election Day -- as long as they were mailed before Election Day.

Things to know about voting in the March 15 election:

  • Registration ends at 9 Tuesday night.
  • Early voting begins at 8 a.m. Wednesday.
  • To apply to vote by mail-in ballot, go to your board of elections or MyOhioVote.com. Complete and mail it in or drop it off.
  • You’ll get a ballot in the mail that you can complete and mail back – so long as it’s postmarked by March 14. You can also drop it off in person at the board of elections through Election Day, March 15.
  • You can track your ballot on line MyOhioVote.com.
  • You can also vote in person at county boards of elections. Here are the hours:
    8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, Feb. 17 to March 4
    8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 5
    8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, March 7 to Friday, March 11
    8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 12
    1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 13
    8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, March 14