Voting in Ohio

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Ohio did not permit online voter registration as of January 2015. It does, however, permit no-excuse early voting and no-excuse absentee voting. An Ohio voter must provide some form of documentation proving his or her identity at the polls, but a photo is not required.

For full information about voting in Ohio, contact the state election agency.

Registration

You are eligible to vote in Ohio if:[1]

  • You are a citizen of the United States;
  • You will be at least 18 years old on or before the day of the next general election. (If you will be 18 on or before November 6, you may vote in the primary election to nominate candidates, but you cannot vote on issues or party central committees until you are 18);
  • You will be a resident of Ohio for at least 30 days immediately before the election in which you want to vote;
  • You are not incarcerated (in prison or jail) for a felony conviction under the laws of this state, another state, or the United States;
  • You have not been declared incompetent for voting purposes by a probate court; and
  • You have not been permanently disenfranchised for violating the election laws.[2]

—Ohio Secretary of State

When and where

You may register to vote in person or by mail. Registration must be completed at least 28 days prior to the election. You can obtain an application and register to vote in any of the following locations:[1]

  • The office of the Secretary of State;
  • The office of any of the 88 county boards of elections;
  • The office of the registrar or any deputy registrar of the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles;
  • Public libraries;
  • Public high schools or vocational schools;
  • County treasurers’ offices; or
  • Offices 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;
  • The Rehabilitation Services Commission; or
  • The office of any state-assisted college or university responsible for providing assistance to disabled students.[2]

—Ohio Secretary of State

Online registration

See also: Online voter registration in the 50 states

As of May 2015, Ohio is one of 30 states that have not implemented full online voter registration. However, voter information can be edited online in the event that a voter moves into a new district.[3]

Voting on Election Day

Voter identification

See also: Voter identification laws by state

On Election Day at the polling place, Ohio law requires that every voter announce his or her full name and current address. Additionally, voters must provide some form of identification. A photo ID is not required.[4]

Poll times

See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times

In Ohio, all polling places are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Voters who are in line at 7:30 p.m. are permitted to vote.[5]

Primary voting

Ohio is one of 21 states with a mixed primary system. Only affiliated voters can vote for candidates in the primary election; however, voters do not choose their affiliation until Election Day, when they request a party's ballot.[6]

Absentee voting

See also: Absentee voting

Eligibility

All voters are eligible to vote absentee in Ohio. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[7]

Deadlines

Absentee ballots may be requested for each individual election beginning on January 1 or 90 days before the date of an election, whichever is earlier. The request must be received by the local county board of elections by noon the third day before the election. A returned absentee ballot must then be postmarked at least one day before Election Day and received by the elections board no later than 10 days after the election.[7]

Military and overseas voting

For full details regarding military and overseas voting, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program.

Early voting

See also: Early voting and Ohio early voting, 2014

Ohio is one of 33 states (plus the District of Columbia) that permit some form of early voting. Early voting begins 29 days before an election and ends the day prior to Election Day.[8]

2014 and 2015 developments

On February 21, 2014, Governor John Kasich signed into law two bills that altered the state's early and absentee voting provisions. Senate Bill 238 eliminated "Golden Week," a period during which state residents could register and vote on the same day, and shortened the early voting period by a week. Under Senate Bill 205, the Secretary of State will be required to get funding approval from the legislature before mailing absentee ballot applications statewide.[9]

Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Cuyahoga County executive Ed FitzGerald denounced the bills as "outrageous and unnecessary and totally motivated by a desire to make it tougher to vote." He also indicated that he had directed his county law director to review the bills for possible legal action.[9]

The bipartisan Ohio Association of Election Officials has said that allowing individuals to both register and vote on the same day results in difficulties in properly validating voters.[9]

Senate Bill 238 was subject to a lengthy legal challenge. On April 17, 2015, the parties involved agreed to a settlement. The terms of the settlement included the restoration of one day of voting on Sunday, additional weekday evening voting hours, and the elimination of "Golden Week," a period during which state residents could register and vote on the same day."[10]

Election policy ballot measures

Voting on
elections and campaigns
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Ballot measures
By state
By year
Not on ballot
See also: Elections and campaigns on the ballot and List of Ohio ballot measures

Ballotpedia has tracked the following ballot measures relating to election and campaign policy in Ohio.

  1. Ohio 30-Day Voter Eligibility, Issue 1 (1977)
  2. Ohio Ballot Board Amendment, Issue 1 (June 1978)
  3. Ohio Ballot Measure Language, Amendment 3 (May 1974)
  4. Ohio Biennial Elections, Amendment 1 (1905)
  5. Ohio Biennial Elections, Amendment 3 (1889)
  6. Ohio Compulsory Primaries, Amendment 1 (1926)
  7. Ohio Declaration of Election Results, Amendment 3 (1976)
  8. Ohio Delegates for National Political Party Conventions, Amendment 7 (1975)
  9. Ohio Election Day for County Officers, Amendment 3 (October 1885)
  10. Ohio Election Day for Members of the General Assembly, Amendment 1 (October 1885)
  11. Ohio Election Day for State Officers, Amendment 2 (October 1885)
  12. Ohio Election of Militia Officers, Amendment 4 (1953)
  13. Ohio Elections of Members of the General Assembly, Amendment 2 (October 1879)
  14. Ohio Elections of State Officers, Amendment 3 (October 1879)
  15. Ohio Elections of Township Trustees, Amendment 4 (October 1879)
  16. Ohio End the Direct Election of Appellate Judges, Issue 3 (1987)
  17. Ohio Individual Voting for Candidates, Amendment 2 (1949)
  18. Ohio Initiative Limitations, Amendment 4 (1915)
  19. Ohio Issue 2, No-Excuse Absentee Voting Act (2005)
  20. Ohio Issue 3, Campaign Finance Reform Act (2005)
  21. Ohio Issue 3, Election of Members of the Public Utilities Commission (1982)
  22. Ohio Issue 4, Copies of Proposed Charters Made Available to Voters (June 1980)
  23. Ohio Issue 5, State Election Board Act (2005)
  24. Ohio Joint Election of Governor and Lieutenant Governor, Amendment 1, (June 1976)
  25. Ohio Newspaper Notification of Proposed Amendments, Amendment 1 (1971)
  26. Ohio Notice for Municipal Charters, Amendment 3 (1970)
  27. Ohio Primary Elections, Amendment 26 (September 1912)
  28. Ohio Qualifications for Casting a Presidential Vote, Amendment 2 (1957)
  29. Ohio Qualifications for Holding Office, Amendment 3 (May 1973)
  30. Ohio Qualifications of Electors, Amendment 4 (June 1976)
  31. Ohio Rotation of Candidate Names on Ballots, Amendment 6 (1975)
  32. Ohio Short Ballot for County and Township Officers, Amendment 2 (1913)
  33. Ohio Short Ballot for State Officers, Amendment 1 (1913)
  34. Ohio Short Term Elections for State Officer Vacancies, Amendment 2 (1969)
  35. Ohio Terms of Office and Vacancies, Amendment 5 (June 1976)
  36. Ohio Voter Bill of Rights Amendment (2015)
  37. Ohio Voter Residency Requirement, Amendment 2 (1970)
  38. Ohio Voting Age, Amendment 1 (1969)
  39. Ohio Voting Machine Use, Amendment 25 (September 1912)

Recent news

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See also

Elections in Ohio

External links

References