How to Vote in Ohio
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How to Register to Vote in Ohio
Voting is a great way to exercise your civic rights and make your voice heard when it comes to local, state, and national politics. To cast your vote, however, you need to be registered to vote in the state where you are a resident. Requirements and deadlines for voter registration may vary from state to state, so it’s important to be informed and follow the guidelines specific to your state of residence.
In order to be eligible to register to vote in Ohio, you must be a citizen of the United States, at least 18 years old on the day of the next general election, and a resident of Ohio for at least 30 days prior to the election. You can’t register to vote if you are imprisoned for a felony, declared mentally incompetant, or have been permanently disenfranchised for violating election laws.
To register to vote online in Ohio, you’ll need to provide an Ohio driver’s license or Ohio identification card number, along with your name, date of birth, address, and the last four digits of your Social Security number. To be eligible to vote, you must register or update your information at least 30 days before the election. In 2020, voters must register by October 5, 2020 to vote in the General Election.
Am I Registered to Vote in Ohio?
If you’re not sure whether you’re registered to vote in Ohio, there’s an easy way to check. You can look up your voter registration status online by entering in your first and last name along with your county of residence. If you think you’re registered to vote but are having trouble finding yourself in the system, be sure to try any nicknames, former last names, or former counties of residence.
Early Voting in Ohio
There are a variety of options to cast your ballot in Ohio. Beginning after the close of voter registration, voters can participate in early in-person voting in the state. If you’re not sure where your early voting location is, you can look it up on the County Boards of Elections Directory.
Ohio residents may also vote via absentee ballot. To request an absentee ballot, you must provide information including your name, signature, address, date of birth, proof of identification, and a statement indicating the election you’re planning on voting in. In some cases, you may also be required to state your party affiliation. If you’d like your ballot to be mailed to a different address than the address you’re registered under, you’ll need to specify the address to which you want it mailed.
There are many advantages to voting via an absentee ballot, including avoiding lines on election day and the ease and convenience of voting from home. If you’re planning to vote via an absentee ballot, you must request one at least three days before the election. If you mail your absentee ballot, it must be postmarked at least a day before the election. If you’re returning your absentee ballot in person, it must be delivered to your county board of elections before 7:30 p.m. on election day.
Voting in Ohio on Election Day
On election day, cast your ballot at your designated precinct anytime between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. If you’re not sure where your polling place is located, you can search for it online. You need to bring an acceptable form of identification to vote.
Valid forms of ID include an Ohio driver’s license or state identification card, a military ID, or a photo ID issued by the United States government or the state of Ohio with a current name, address, and expiration date. If you don’t possess any of the above forms of identification, you may also use a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, or paycheck with your name and current address on it.
Why Voting Is Important
When you cast your vote in a local, state, or national election, you get to have a say in the policies that affect the lives of you and your loved ones. From specific issues such as the state tax and minimum wage, to broader issues such as discrimination based on race or gender, voting is a way to make your voice heard and influence laws and policies at both a local and national level.
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This post was updated March 24, 2020. It was originally published March 24, 2020.