Ohio Elections

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Upcoming Elections

2016 Presidential Preference Primary: Tuesday, March 15

2016 General Election: Tuesday, November 8

For more information, visit the Ohio Secretary of State website.

Please note that the information in the sections below has not been updated, and refers to the 2015 general election.

Voting Rights

News

New evidence that voter ID laws ‘skew democracy’ in favor of white Republicans
02/05/16 |
Publication Date: 
Thursday, February 4, 2016 - 11:30
Excerpt: 

Voter fraud is, for all intents and purposes, practically nonexistent. The best available research on the topic, by Loyola Law School professor Justin Levitt, found only 31 credible incidents of voter impersonation in an investigation of over 1 billion votes cast.

But that hasn't dampened Republican efforts to pass a spate of strict voter ID laws since 2008. And it hasn't hurt the public's overall enthusiasm for those laws, either.

But the results of a new working paper from political scientists at University of California, San Diego suggest folks may want to consider. The researchers analyzed turnout in recent elections -- between 2008 and 2012 -- in states that did and did not implement the strictest form of voter ID laws. They found that these laws consistently and significantly decreased turnout not just among traditionally Democratic-leaning groups, like blacks and Hispanics, but among Republican voters too.

Tuesday’s New Hampshire Primary Will Be First With Voter ID Law In Place
02/05/16 |
Publication Date: 
Thursday, February 4, 2016 - 00:00
Excerpt: 

This year’s presidential primary is the first in which the state’s voters will be required to show identification before they can cast their ballots. ...

If a voter doesn’t have a photo ID, they can fill out a “challenged voter affidavit” swearing they are who they say they are. They would also need to have their photo taken by an election official. Voters can object to the photo for religious reasons by filling out a separate affidavit for a religious exemption.Those who complete the affidavit process will have their votes counted.

Those who fill out an affidavit will also receive a follow-up letter from the state asking them to verify they voted in the election. If a response isn’t received within 90 days, the state will investigate.

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Voting as a Student

As a student, you have a constitutional right to register and vote in the place you truly consider to be “home” — whether that’s your parents’ house, your apartment, or your dorm room. But before you make the important decision about where to vote, make sure you know the rules (and sometimes consequences) of registering to vote in that state.

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Helpful Election Information

Upcoming Elections in Your State

2016 Presidential Preference Primary: Tuesday, March 15

2016 General Election: Tuesday, November 8

For more information, visit the Ohio Secretary of State website.

Please note that the information in the sections below has not been updated, and refers to the 2015 general election.

Polling Place Hours

On Election Day: 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Any eligible voter may vote in person as early as 35 days before the election up and including the Monday before Election Day.  Contact your county board of elections here for specific information on where you can vote early and the hours of operation.

How to Find Your Polling Place

Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE

You can also check the Secretary of State’s website and enter your name and address to find your polling place.

REGISTER TO VOTE HERE

Registration Deadlines

2015 May 5 Special Election:  April 6, 2015

2015 August 4 Special Election:  July 6, 2015

2015 General Election: October 5, 2015

You must register to vote 30 days before the election.

How to Check if You Are Registered

Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE

You can also visit the Secretary of State's Voter Information website and fill out your name and address to check your voter registration status.

How to Register

You can register to vote by visiting the Ohio Secretary of State’s Voter Registration website.

Registration Eligibility

To register to vote in Ohio, a person must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States;
  • Be at least 18 years old on or before the next general election;
  • Be a resident of Ohio for at least 30 days immediately before the election in which you want to vote;
  • Not be in jail or prison for a felony conviction;
  • Not have been declared incompetent for voting purposes by a probate court; and
  • Not have been permanently denied the right to vote for violating the election laws.

Identification Required for Registration

When registering to vote a registrant must provide one or more of the following:

  • A current, valid Ohio driver's license number; 
  • The last four digits of their social security number; 
  • A copy of a current and valid photo identification issued by the State of Ohio or federal government which includes the voter’s name, current address (except that an Ohio driver’s license or state ID card may show either a current or former address), and expiration date that has not passed; 
  • A copy of a military identification; 
  • A copy of a current utility bill; 
  • A copy of a current bank statement, ; 
  • A copy of a current government check; 
  • A copy of a current paycheck; or
  • A copy of another government document which shows the voter’s name and address(notices of election and notices of voter registration sent by a board of elections are specifically excluded as an acceptable form identification for registration purposes).

For voter identification purposes “current” means the document was issued on a date within one year immediately preceding the date of the election, or has on it an expiration date which has not passed as of the date of the election.

If You Want to Vote Early

Contact your county board of elections here for specific information on the early voting location and hours for your county.

If You Want to Vote Absentee

Any individual who is qualified to vote in Ohio may request an absentee ballot without stating a reason.  Voters who want to vote absentee by mail must apply to the board of elections in the county where they are registered to vote.  You can apply to vote absentee by mail here.  Your application must be received by the board of elections by noon on the Saturday before the election.

Identification Requirements to Register to Vote

When registering to vote a registrant must provide one or more of the following:

  • A current, valid Ohio driver's license number; 
  • The last four digits of their social security number; 
  • A copy of a current and valid photo identification issued by the State of Ohio or federal government which includes the voter’s name, current address (except that an Ohio driver’s license or state ID card may show either a current or former address), and expiration date that has not passed; 
  • A copy of a military identification; 
  • A copy of a current utility bill; 
  • A copy of a current bank statement, ; 
  • A copy of a current government check; 
  • A copy of a current paycheck; or
  • A copy of another government document which shows the voter’s name and address(notices of election and notices of voter registration sent by a board of elections are specifically excluded as an acceptable form identification for registration purposes).

For voter identification purposes “current” means the document was issued on a date within one year immediately preceding the date of the election, or has on it an expiration date which has not passed as of the date of the election.

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

To vote by absentee ballot or vote early in-person, a voter must provide either:

  • The last four digits of the voter's Social Security number; 
  • An Ohio driver's license number; 
  • A copy of a current and valid photo identification issued by the State of Ohio or federal government which includes the voter’s name, current address (except that an Ohio driver’s license or state ID card may show either a current or former address), and expiration date that has not passed; 
  • A copy of a military ID; 
  • A copy of a current utility bill (including cell phone bill); 
  • A copy of a bank statement; 
  • A copy of a paycheck; 
  • A copy of a government check; or
  • A copy of another government document that shows the voter's name and address (Note: You cannot use a voter registration acknowledgement notice that the board of elections mailed to you as proof of identification).

If voting in person on Election Day, a voter must provide either:

  • A current and valid photo identification issued by the State of Ohio or federal government which includes the voter’s name, current address, and expiration date that has not passed (except that an Ohio driver’s license or state ID card need not show the voter’s current address so long as the voter has a current residential address printed in the official poll list and provides the last four digits of the driver’s license or state ID card number); 
  • A military identification ; 
  • An original or copy of a current utility bill (including cell phone bill) that includes the voter’s name and current address; 
  • An original or copy of a current bank statement that includes the voter’s name and current address; 
  • An original or copy of a current paycheck that includes the voter’s name and current address; 
  • An original or copy of a current government check that includes the voter’s name and current address; or
  • An original or copy of a current other government document that shows the voter's name and current address, including from a public college or university (notices of election and notices of voter registration sent by a board of elections are specifically excluded as an acceptable form of identification).

For voter identification purposes, “current” means the document was issued on a date within one year immediately preceding the date of the election, or has an expiration date which has not passed as of the date of the election. 

Voters who do not provide one of these documents will only be permitted to vote a provisional ballot.

Moving Within the Same Precinct

If the voter has moved within the SAME PRECINCT and has not updated his or her address for voter registration purposes, the voter should go to the polling place for that precinct.  If the voter registration list still lists the voter's old address, the voter will be asked to update his or her registration information and provide identification in the form of a current and valid photo identification, a military identification, or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document in order to vote a regular ballot.

Moving Within the Same County

If the voter has moved to a different precinct but within the SAME COUNTY and has not updated his or her address for voter registration purposes, the voter should go to the new polling place that corresponds to his or her new address (or to the county Board of Elections), complete and sign a Notice of Change of Address and vote a provisional ballot.  To find out if you have changed precincts, you can visit the Ohio Secretary of State’s website.

Moving to a Different County

If the voter has moved from one county to another and has not updated his or her address for voter registration purposes, the voter should go to the new polling place that corresponds to his or her new address (or to the new county Board of Elections), complete and sign a Notice of Change of Address and vote a provisional ballot.

Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), also known as Standard Form 76, to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot.  Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP) Ohio-specific FPCA page.

Military and overseas citizens can send and receive voting materials by fax and email.  If you wish to use the fax or email options, you must indicate this on your FPCA.  Instructions for doing so are found on the FVAP's Ohio-specific FPCA page.

Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) if they applied for and did not receive their absentee ballot.  The FWAB is a back-up ballot on which voters can write-in their choices.  For specific instructions, visit the FVAP's Ohio-specific FWAB page.

Ohio law permits convicted felons to vote so long as they are not currently serving a felony sentence of incarceration.  Once a convicted felon is released from physical incarceration (i.e. is on probation, parole, or has completed his or her sentence), he or she can re-register to vote and vote.

For more information, visit the Ohio Secretary of State website.

FAQ

Electionary

Top Issues to Field **not yet updated since 2014**

For more information for voters with disabilities, visit the National Disability Rights Network’s voting resource center.

For more information for student voters, visit the Ohio Student Voting Guide from the Brennan Center for Justice.

Information provided by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights