Voting in Ohio
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Voting in 2013 Primaries • Voting on November 5, 2013
Poll Opening and Closing Times
Absentee voting • Early voting
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Ohio has a mixed primary system. Voters must vote in the primary of same party as the voter participated in last primary election, but it is loosely enforced. However, if a voter wishes to vote in another party's primary, he or she must register with that party in order to vote.
To vote in Ohio, you must meet the following requirements:
- 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.
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:
- 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.
As of June 2013, Ohio is one of the 37 states that have not implemented online voter registration. Ohio has bills pending in the 2013-2014 legislative session which would authorize online voter registration. One bill was introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives.. A separate bill was introduced in the Ohio Senate.
Voting on election day
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 proof of their identity. A photo ID is not required.
- See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times
All voters are eligible to vote absentee in Ohio. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.
To vote absentee, an absentee ballot application must be received by the election office at least 3 days prior to 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.
Military and overseas voting
For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.
As of 2012, all registered voters in Ohio will receive an absentee ballot application in the mail. This is the first time in the state's history that all registered voters will receive applications, earning widespread praise from both parties. The only concern comes from those voters who request an absentee ballot but later decide to vote in person at the polls, which could cause increased numbers of provisional ballots. Provisional ballots are only used when there are questions over whether a person may cast a ballot. They are counted only once a voter's eligibility has been confirmed, in this case, after confirming that he or she did not both vote absentee and at the polls.
Ohio is one of 33 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Early voting begins 35 days before an election and ends the day prior to election day. The average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.
The Supreme Court let the ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit stand on October 16, 2012, in a one-sentence order. The Appeals Court ruled earlier that early voting must be offered to all voters if it is offered to the military, and the Supreme Court's decision finally puts the issue to rest. This decision marks a victory for the Obama campaign, which sued to overturn the restricting put into place by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted.
Previously early voting had been restored during the last three days before the November 6 election for all Ohio citizens by a federal district court. From there, the decision was appealed to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and finally to the Supreme Court. 
U.S. District Court Judge Peter C. Economus stated the following, "this Court notes that restoring in-person early voting to all Ohio voters through the Monday before Election Day does not deprive [military] voters from early voting." He went on to say, "Instead, and more importantly, it places all Ohio voters on equal standing."
The lawsuit was filed in response to a directive which allowed certain individuals, specifically military personnel and their families, to vote in the three days preceding the election, while disallowing all others.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Voter guide
- ↑ Open States, HB 78
- ↑ Open States, SB 20
- ↑ Voter ID laws
- ↑ http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/elections/Voters/FAQ/procedures.aspx
- ↑ The Community Press & Recorder, "Absentee ballot plan eases voting but increases risk of voter mistake," September 9, 2012
- ↑ The New York Times, "Justices Clear the Way for Early Voting in Ohio," October 16, 2012
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Governing, "Early Voting Restored in Ohio," September 4, 2012