Ohio

Upcoming Elections

Oct. 5, 2020 – Voter Registration Deadline
Oct. 6, 2020 – Early Voting Starts
Oct. 31, 2020 – Deadline to Request Absentee Ballot

Requests must be received by Noon.

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

Nov. 2, 2020 – Deadline for Completed Absentee Ballot

Must be postmarked by November 2, 2020.

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

Nov. 3, 2020 – Deadline to Return Completed Ballot In-Person

Absentee Ballot must be received by 7:30 p.m.

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

Nov. 3, 2020 – Deadline to register for Emergency Absentee Ballot

 Deadline to apply for absentee ballot if voter or voter’s child is hospitalized because of accident or medical emergency by 3:00 pm.

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

Voting in Ohio

When You Can Vote

FOR NOVEMBER 3, 2020 GENERAL ELECTION

  • October 5: Deadline for voter registration
  • October 6: In-Person Early Voting starts
  • October 31: Noon deadline to request absentee ballot

The polls must be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) on Election Day. If there are voters waiting in line to cast their ballots at 7:30 p.m., the polls must remain open until those in line have voted.

Early voting hours are listed here: https://www.ohiosos.gov/elections/voters/current-voting-schedule/2020-schedule/ 

Make sure you are registered to vote – or have updated your voter information – through the Ohio Secretary of State’s website.  You can do so online at: https://olvr.ohiosos.gov/, and provide your name, date of birth, address, driver’s license or Ohio ID card number, and the last four digits of your Social Security number.  Alternatively, you can print out a paper form and return it to the proper county board of elections locations, which you can find here: https://www.ohiosos.gov/elections/elections-officials/county-boards-of-elections-directory/.  

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

Where You Can Vote

How to Find Your Polling Place:

Visit the Ohio Secretary of State’s polling place locator web page.

Registering to Vote

Registration Deadlines:

The voter registration deadline for the November 3 general is October 5, 2020. 

To register to vote in person, you must provide either your driver’s license number or the last four digits of your Social Security number as identification on the registration card. 

How to Check Your Registration: Visit the Ohio Secretary of State’s voter registration check web page: https://voterlookup.ohiosos.gov/voterlookup.aspx

Registration Eligibility: In order to be eligible to register in Ohio, you must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States;
  • Be at least 18 years old on or before Election Day;
  • Be an Ohio resident for at least 30 days prior to Election Day;
  • Not be imprisoned for a felony conviction;
  • Not be declared incompetent for voting purposes by a probate court; and
  • Not be permanently denied the right to vote for violations of the election laws.

How to Register: Complete your voter registration form online, or return in person or by mail to any of the following public offices:

  • Any county board of elections;
  • The Ohio Secretary of State’s Office;
  • BMV or Deputy Registrars;
  • Office of designated agencies, including:
    • The Department of Job and Family Services,
    • The Department of Health (including the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program),
    • The Department of Mental Health,
    • The Department of Developmental Disabilities,
    • Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, or
    • Any state-assisted college or university that provides assistance to disabled students;
  • Any county treasurer’s office;
  • Any public high school or vocational school; or
  • Any public library.

Your completed voter registration form must be postmarked or received at least 30 days before Election Day.

Identification Required for Registration:

You may provide the last four digits of your Social Security number, or your current and valid Ohio driver’s license number on line 10 of the Voter Registration Form. If you have neither, you may write “None.”

Voting Early & by Absentee Ballot

If You Want to Vote Early

Early In-Person absentee voting for the November 3 general election begins October 6, 2020 and ends November 2, 2020.

Check with your county board of elections for information about where to vote early: https://www.sos.state.oh.us/elections/elections-officials/county-boards-of-elections-directory

Check the early voting schedule for hours and dates: https://www.ohiosos.gov/elections/voters/current-voting-schedule/2020-schedule/

If You Want to Vote Absentee

If you have not already voted, you may request an absentee ballot.* Ohio does not require a voter to give a reason to request an absentee ballot during the Covid-19 pandemic.

*Note: you must request an absentee ballot, it will not be automatically sent to you. You have until October 31 for the Board of Elections to receive your absentee ballot request, but we highly recommend sending your request as soon as possible.

Anyone who is a registered voter may vote absentee. If an absentee ballot is mailed to you, and you instead decide to appear at your polling place to vote on Election Day, you will be required to vote using a provisional ballot that cannot be counted until at least 11 days after the election.

For the November 3 general election, the deadline to request an absentee ballot is Saturday, October 31 at noon. The absentee ballot postmark deadline is the day before Election Day.  Applications are available online in English (PDF) and Spanish (PDF)The county Board of Elections will mail you an absentee ballot after receipt of your absentee ballot application form.

To vote by absentee ballot, follow these three steps:

Step 1: Print and complete an absentee ballot request form*, and mail the request form to your county Board of Elections.  

*Absentee applications need not be on a particular form for the November 3, 2020 general election!

  • If you do not have access to a printer, you may fill out your absentee information on a piece of paper and mail it to your county Board of Elections. 
  • If you do not have access to stamps, call your county Board of Elections.
  • Your request form must arrive to your county Board of Elections by October 31, 2020.

Step 2: Receive your absentee ballot in the mail and follow the directions for completing the ballot.

  • Assuming you are properly registered to vote and completed the request form correctly, you will receive your absentee ballot and accompanying instructions in a timely fashion.
  • If there is a question regarding your voter registration eligibility, you will receive a provisional ballot with a note indicating why your registration has been flagged and pre-paid postage for the provisional ballot.

Step 3: Return your ballot to your county Board of Elections.

  • MAIL your absentee ballot, and it must be postmarked by Monday November 2, 2020 (and received no later than 10 days after Election Day) OR

DROP OFF your absentee ballot to your county Board of Elections by Tuesday, November 3, 2020 by 7:30pm

Identification Requirements

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

If you do not have proper identification, you can still vote with a provisional ballot if you are otherwise eligible to vote. When you cast your provisional ballot you must provide either: (a) your Ohio driver’s license or state identification number (which begins with two letters followed by six numbers), or (b) the last four digits of your Social Security number. If a voter casts a provisional ballot, he or she should expect to be given information so that they can follow up to make sure that their vote counted.

Within 7 days after Election Day, a voter who casts a provisional ballot because  the voter did not provide proper identification, or because the individual’s eligibility to vote has been successfully challenged, must appear at the Board of Elections office and provide the appropriate identification (meaning one of the required forms of ID required at the polls [see below section on Voter ID], the last four digits of the voter’s social security number, or the voter’s full Ohio driver’s license number or Ohio state ID card number) or other additional information necessary to determine the voter’s eligibility. However, no follow up is required if a voter who did not provide a proper ID wrote on the provisional ballot envelope either the last four digits of their social security number or their full Ohio driver’s license or Ohio ID card number.

To vote a regular ballot, Ohio voters are required to show some kind of proof of identity. Acceptable forms of identification are:

  • An unexpired Ohio driver’s license or state identification card with present or former address (driver licenses or state ID cards set to expire on or after March 9, 2020 are automatically extended and remain valid through Election Day);
  • An unexpired military identification;
  • An unexpired photo identification that was issued by the United States government or the State of Ohio, that contains the voter’s name and current address and that has an expiration date that has not passed;
  • An original or copy of a current (within the last 12 months) utility bill (includes a cell phone bill or zero balance utility bill from university housing) with the voter’s name and present address;
  • An original or copy of a current bank statement with the voter’s name and present address;
  • An original or copy of a current government check with the voter’s name and present address;
  • An original or copy of a current paycheck with the voter’s name and present address; or
  • An original or copy of a current other government document (other than a notice of voter registration mailed by a board of elections) that shows the voter’s name and present address.

The following are UNACCEPTABLE types of identification:

  • Driver’s license or photo identification card issued by a state other than Ohio;
  • Social Security card;
  • Passport;
  • Birth certificate, unless you still live at the house where you resided at birth and the birth certificate contains that home address;
  • Insurance card; or
  • Any registration acknowledgement notice from the county Board of Elections.

VoteRiders has created Ohio voter ID info cards in English and in Spanish 

If You Have Moved Within Your State

Moving within the same precinct

Any registered voter who moves within a precinct on or prior to election day and has not filed a change of residence form may vote a regular ballot by going to their assigned polling place, completing and signing a change of residence form, showing 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 that shows the name and current address of the voter, and casting a ballot. The identification used by the voter should reflect their current/new address.

Moving to a different precinct but within the same county

A voter who moves from one precinct to another in the same county and has not filed a change of residence form before the registration deadline has two options: the voter may appear at the county Board of Elections office, update his or her voter registration, and vote a provisional ballot; or the voter may go to his or her new polling location on Election Day and vote a provisional ballot.

Moving Between Counties

The voter should file a change of residence form.  If that has not happened, then starting 28 days before Election Day the voter may go in person to the Board of Elections (or another place if the Board has so designated) and do the following:  completing and signing the written affirmation on the provisional ballot envelope, voting a provisional ballot, and completing and signing a statement attesting to the change of address. A voter who has not completed a change of address at the Board of Elections may vote on Election Day by going to the assigned polling place for their new address and vote a provisional ballot.

If You are in the Military or are an Overseas Voter

Registering and Requesting an Absentee Ballot

Qualified voters who are members of the uniformed services or residing overseas may apply for an absentee ballot in any of the following ways:

  1. You may use the current Federal Post Credit Application (FPCA), available online at www.fvap.gov. The FPCA may be used both to register to vote and to request absentee ballots.
  2. You may also request an absentee ballot using a form prescribed by the Ohio Secretary of State (Form 11-A, if you will be in Ohio during the absentee period; otherwise use an FPCA).
  3. If you are already a registered Ohio voter, you may designate an eligible relative to request an absentee ballot on your behalf, like using the Secretary of State prescribed Form 11-E or the FPCA.

Receiving an Absentee Ballot

If you are an individual eligible to vote under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), you may ask to receive your ballot in any one of the following ways:

  1. By mail: You can request their absentee ballot on January 1 or beginning 90 days before Election Day whichever is earlier. You may mail your completed absentee ballot application, bearing your signature, to the board of elections of the county in which your voting residence is located. The board must receive your request by noon on the Saturday before the election. However, you should submit your request as far in advance of the election as possible to ensure there is sufficient time for the board to mail, fax, or e-mail you a ballot. Your marked ballot must be returned by mail.
  2. By fax: You may fax your absentee ballot request to the board of elections of the county in which your voting residence is located. The board must receive your request by noon on the Saturday before the election. You may request that the board fax, mail, or e-mail your ballot to you, but you must return your marked ballot by mail.
  3. By e-mail: Your completed and signed absentee ballot request form may be e-mailed to the board of elections office in the county in which you are registered to vote. The board must receive your request by noon on the Saturday before the election. You may request that the board fax, mail, or e-mail your ballot to you, but you must return your marked ballot by mail.
  4. In-person: Once absentee ballots are available, you may go to your county board of elections office or other site designated by the board of elections to cast your ballot in person.  If you are a UOCAVA voter voting in person on the day before an election or on Election Day, you may vote in person at the office of your county board of elections only. An application delivered in person to the board of elections office must be received by the close of polls on Election Day.

When the board of elections issues your ballot, it will provide you with information on how to track the status of your ballot in the Centralized Ballot Tracking System.

Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot

If you have requested an absentee ballot by noon on the Saturday before the election, but have not received it, you may use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot. If you receive your absentee ballot after submitting the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot, you may vote it and return it via mail or in person. If both the absentee ballot and the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot are received by the 10th day after Election Day, the board of elections will only count the absentee ballot.

If You Have a Felony Conviction

A person currently incarcerated for a felony cannot vote.  If the person has a felony conviction, but is granted parole, judicial release and final discharge or is out of prison on probation, the person may vote but must register to vote again in order to be able to vote.  The felony conviction cancels the prior registration.

Inmates who are not in prison for a felony conviction (e.g. awaiting trial, or imprisoned for a misdemeanor) may vote by an absentee ballot if incarcerated on Election Day and otherwise eligible to vote.

Election Protection Materials

Questions about voting in Ohio?

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