Regret your early vote? You might not be able to change it

Ohioans do not have the option to change their early vote, but Pennsylvanians can change their minds at the polls on Election Day

Mahoning County Board of Elections has seen record numbers for early voting


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – After a string of October surprises from both candidates, a growing trend is happening online. People who have already submitted their ballots are searching the internet for ways to change their vote.

Poll workers have no days off this week as early voting continues in Ohio. There’s always a line of people, sometimes out the door, as ballots are filled in and votes are cast.

“It’s hectic. We’re processing a lot of paperwork, absentee ballots and early voters,” said Tom McCabe with the Mahoning County Board of Elections.

Some early voters across the nation are wondering if their votes can be changed once they’ve already been cast.

Data shows a trend of internet searches asking that very question. The search has peaked twice in the last month – once when Donald Trump was caught making offensive remarks to women, and again when the FBI said it would look into additional emails related to the Clinton campaign.

McCabe says that Ohioans do not have the option to change their early vote.

“All 50 states do things a little different…different voting systems, but in Ohio, it’s very clear that once that vote is cast, that vote is final.”

Ohio absentee ballot voters can cast a provisional ballot if they have concerns about their first ballot not being received but as long as the first ballot is received, the provisional ballot doesn’t count.

Absentee voters in Pennsylvania do have the option to change their minds once a ballot has been submitted.

“Their only option is to go to the polls on next Tuesday. If that’s not an option, then likely they are out of time to fix it,” said Jeff Greenberg, elections director of Mercer County.

He says in the ten years he’s been working the polls, that’s never happened.

The deadline to request an absentee ballot in Ohio and Pennsylvania has passed, but early voting is still an option for Ohioans through next Monday.

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