Ohio absentee ballots can be counted up to 10 days after the deadline to have them postmarked, and as that falls just three days before the election, it could take some time before the battleground state's decision is final, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said Thursday.
But still, he told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" that state officials are encouraging residents to mail out their ballots early so they can be postmarked by the deadline, which is the day before the election, because the U.S. Postal Service has warned that delays could mean they won't be postmarked in time to count at all.
People also need to request their ballots early, he stressed.
"I acknowledge that the Postal Service was moving slower than we're accustomed to," LaRose said, but since delays caused snafus in April, all election mail is now being handled as first-class mail.
"We got the absentee ballot requests out to every registered voter much earlier this year," he said. "We've already received a million back."
In Ohio, all absentee ballots must be requested and received by three days before the election, which this year falls on Oct. 31, a Saturday, and postmarked no later than the day before the election to count.
LaRose said his office has been asking the state legislature to fix the ballot deadline for many months in hopes that people will be able to mail their ballots on time.
"We're telling people from Ohio even though the law says you can wait until noon on Saturday that's a very bad idea," he said. "We're telling Ohio's voters they should request their ballot by the 27th of October to leave time for it to arrive. No reason to wait. Now is a great time to get in your request for an absentee ballot. They start going out to voters on October 6."
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