Voter Registration in Ohio
“Am I registered to vote in Ohio?” If you find yourself asking this question, you will want to learn more about the state’s registration laws before Election Day. Instead of wondering how to change your voter registration address two weeks before Election Day, it is better to ensure your registration information is accurate as soon as possible. This allows you to focus on the candidates in the election, deciding who you want to represent you until the next election.
In this article, you will learn how to register to vote in Ohio. This includes the elements that determine whether you are eligible, the deadline you need to meet if you want to vote in the general election, how you can register as a resident of Ohio, how you can register if you are serving overseas and why voter cards are important. By the end of the article, you should have a good idea of how you can exercise your privilege as a US citizen.
Who can register to vote in Ohio?
You must register to vote in Ohio before you will be allowed to participate in the state’s elections. This is designed to prevent voter ID fraud. In order to be eligible, you need to be an adult resident of Ohio. This means your citizenship must be recognized by the United States, and you must be no less than 18 years old.
You may register if you are under 18, but your privileges will not come into effect until your 18th birthday. You will also need to have established residency in the state in order to complete your voter registration. You can only establish residency in one state at a time, since you can only vote once per election.
As well, you cannot be currently serving a sentence if you were found guilty of a felony in order to register to vote in OH. This means that you cannot be either in prison or serving parole. Once you have passed your probationary period, you will need to apply to get your rights restored.
Ohio Voter Registration Deadline
The state requires you to register to vote before you go to the polls, in order to ensure that all registration forms have enough time to be processed. For general elections, you will need to submit your registration form by October 9. Registration deadlines vary for other elections, so you will have to refer to the Ohio Secretary of State’s website in order to determine the deadline for other elections.
How to Register to Vote in Ohio
Registering to vote in Ohio requires filling out a Voter Registration Form and submitting it through one of three channels. These channels are:
- In person
- Via mail
If you want to register in person, you can do so at a variety of government locations. This includes schools, libraries, DMV offices, County Board of Election offices and more. As well, there are a number of registration drives held throughout the year that guide people through the process of registering.
Though you can submit the form via mail at any of these locations, the Secretary of State encourages you to mail or bring the form to the County Board of Elections yourself, in order to ensure it is received within the proper time frame. If you would like, the Secretary of State also offers an online portal where you may register to vote. Make sure to have identifying documents, like an Ohio drivers license, on hand when you register.
Early Voting in Ohio
If you want to vote early in Ohio, you will need to register to vote via absentee ballot. This ballot can then be submitted to the County Board of Elections. You must turn your vote in before 7 p.m. on Election Day. During the general election, you will be able to submit your ballot any time between October 10 and Election Day.
Ohio Voter Registration for Active Duty Military and Out-of-State Residents
Ohio residents currently serving in the military are able to vote by using an absentee ballot. Instead of going through the normal process, they will register to vote by submitting a Federal Post Card Application and submitting it to the county Board of Elections. This same form can be used to receive a ballot from the county.
Ohio Voter Registration for Absentee Voting
“Where do I vote in Ohio if I cannot reach a polling place during Election Day?” Because many residents were asking themselves this question, Ohio put a program into place allowing voters to vote without going to the polls. You can mail your local county Board of Elections in order to request a form.
In Ohio, you do not need an excuse in order to get your absentee ballot. Instead, you merely need to apply for one. The Absentee Ballot Application form is accepted up to three days before election day, but the ballot itself must be mailed no later than a day before election day. The state does not allow emailed or faxed ballots.
Voter Registration Cards in Ohio
The voter registration card in Ohio can serve as a proof of identification when you vote. However, you can also use a state-issued photo ID, and this is not the most notable aspect of the card. Instead, it is important to pay attention to this card because the signature on it will be compared with the signature you use when you go to vote.
If the signature on your card is significantly different than the signature that you used when voting, your vote could be thrown out. To update your signature, you will need to submit a new voter registration form.
How to Change Your Voter Registration in Ohio
In order to change your voter registration in Ohio, you need to submit a new registration form. This form will overwrite your previous information. This means it allows you to get a voter registration change of address or name. The state requires you to do this in the event that you change your name, as this allows it to keep track of the voting process throughout the state.
How to Replace a Lost Ohio Voter Registration Card
If you lose your voter registration card in Ohio, you will need to contact either the Secretary of State or your local county Board of Elections in order to get it replaced.