Time running out to register to vote

Don’t let time get away from you. If you’re planning on voting in the Ohio March 15 primary election, time is running out to register.

“The last day to register is the (Feb.) 16th and our office is open until 9 p.m.,”Julia Gearheart, director of the Scioto County Board of Elections, said. “The first day of absentee voting is the (Feb.) 17th.”

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said voter registration forms are available at MyOhioVote.com <http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/elections/Voters.aspx?http://www.myohiovote.com/> , county boards of elections and local libraries.

Husted said, if sent via U.S. mail, registration forms must be postmarked by Feb. 16 to be considered valid. All 88 county boards of elections, including the Secretary of State’s office in downtown Columbus, will be open until 9 p.m. on Feb. 16 to accept registration forms.

Ohio law allows a voted absentee ballot to arrive via U.S. mail after the polls have closed, so long as it is postmarked to indicate it was cast and mailed before Election Day. Ohio is one of only 12 states with a system for counting late-arriving ballots.

“There was one county that their absentee ballots did not have a postmark on them,” Gearheart said. “They came back after the election. It was not our county. We have never had a problem with it before.”

Gearheart said if an envelope containing a ballot has no postmark or is postmarked after election day, the vote cannot be counted. She said it is important that you go into the post office and watch your ballot be postmarked.