COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The official start of voting in the November general election has begun in Ohio.
Secretary of State Jon Husted's office said more than 9,700 ballots for military and overseas voters were sent out Saturday. Ballots for all other absentee voters will begin going out Oct. 2.
The election is Nov. 6, and Ohio is among the states considered critical in the race between Democrat President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney.
Under state and federal law, Ohio's county boards must send ballots 45 days ahead of the general election to military and overseas voters who have requested them. Boards can continue to send military and overseas ballots as they receive requests.
The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 9.