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 your state election agency.


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 March 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


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


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.

2014 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. Senate Bill 238 reduced the number of voting days from 35 to 29. Under Senate Bill 205, the Secretary of State will be required to get funding approval from the legislature before mailing absentee ballot applications statewide.[8]

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.[8]

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.[8]

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.[9]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Ohio + Voting "

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Ohio Voting News Feed

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See also

Elections in Ohio

External links