Ohio Elections

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Your State

Upcoming Elections

2016 Presidential Preference and Congressional/State Primary: Tuesday, March 15

  • Voter Registration Deadline: Tuesday, February 16

2016 General Election: Tuesday, November 8

  • Voter Registration Deadline: Tuesday, October 11

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.


More state specific election info below.

Voting Rights

News

Welcome to the First Presidential Election Since Voting Rights Act Gutted
06/26/16 |
Publication Date: 
Sunday, June 26, 2016 - 03:00
Excerpt: 

- by Ari Berman

Three years ago this week, in Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court invalidated the centerpiece of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, ruling that states with the longest histories of voting discrimination no longer needed to approve their voting changes with the federal government. "The Supreme Court stuck a dagger into the heart of the Voting Rights Act," Lewis said after the decision.

That means the 2016 election is the first presidential contest in 50 years without the full protections of the VRA — and the country is witnessing the greatest rollback of voting rights since the act was passed five decades ago.

This year, 17 states have new voting restrictions in place for the first time in a presidential election cycle, including laws that make it harder to register to vote, cut back early voting and require strict forms of government-issued IDs to cast a ballot that millions of Americans don't have.

These states comprise 189 electoral votes — nearly half of the Electoral College votes needed to win the presidency — and include crucial swing states like Ohio, Wisconsin and Virginia. 

There were 21 presidential debates during the primaries but not a single question was asked about voting rights. This remains one of the most important yet least discussed issues in 2016. Before anyone votes in November, there's a huge struggle underway that will decide how many eligible voters will be able to cast a ballot.

 

Kansas to Use Provisional Ballots for Upcoming Elections
06/23/16 |
Publication Date: 
Thursday, June 23, 2016 - 17:00
Excerpt: 

In an effort to comply with a federal court order requiring that Kansas allow people who registered to vote at the DMV without providing proof of citizenship to vote for federal office in upcoming elections, Secretary of State Kris Kobach is planning to use provisional ballots and then throw out all of the votes for state and local races cast by the thousands of voters who register to vote at motor vehicle offices without providing proof of citizenship.

"The state had a similar process in place in the 2014 elections in which a few hundred voters who registered with a federal form were affected. But implementing it in the upcoming elections is estimated to affect as many as 50,000 who registered to vote when they got their driver's licenses without providing the citizenship documentation.

Clint Blaes, spokesman for Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, said the attorney general's office has not yet received any proposed regulations from Kobach, but would review them in the same manner as any other proposed regulation.

"The secretary of state is representing himself in this lawsuit," Blaes said. "Therefore, the attorney general is not involved in either the lawsuit or the operation of the secretary of state's office."

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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 voting rules (and sometimes consequences) of registering to vote in that state.

More Info On Student Voting

Ohio Election Info

Upcoming Elections in Your State

2016 Presidential Preference and Congressional/State Primary: Tuesday, March 15

  • Voter Registration Deadline: Tuesday, February 16

2016 General Election: Tuesday, November 8

  • Voter Registration Deadline: Tuesday, October 11

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

Already registered? Verify your voter registration status.


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

2016 Election Information for your state