Frequently asked Questions About Voter Registration
Why should I register to vote?
No right we possess as American citizens is as dear as that of the secret ballot. Voting allows each citizen to have his or her voice heard, and voting preserves the freedom we Americans cherish.
Must I be a U.S. citizen and a resident to register to vote in Ohio?
You must be a U.S. citizen and a resident of Ohio for at least thirty (30) days before the election, and you must have registered to vote in Ohio at least thirty (30) days before the election.
How do I register to vote?
You may register to vote simply by filling out a brief form, giving your intent to register, your name, birth date, citizenship status, age, current address and signature.
Special Note: The federal election reform bill, the Help America Vote Act of 2002, provides new identification requirements for persons registering by mail and voting for the first time in a federal election.
Persons registering by mail after January 1, 2004, must provide identification information when attempting to vote for the first time, unless the person provides his/her current Ohio driver's license number or the last four digits of his/her social security number on the registration form. The identification information is either:
- a copy of a current and valid photo identification; or
- a copy of a utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document showing name and address.
Do I have to register before every election?
No. Once you register to vote and vote in at least one general election in four years and - if you so choose - in a primary or special election, you never have to register again. Remember: You must keep your registration accurately updated for changes that may occur in your life such as a move or a name change.
Can I register to vote anywhere as long as it is in Ohio?
Yes, you may register at any approved registration site in the State of Ohio, but you must vote in the county and precinct where you reside. It is a felony to knowingly make application or attempt to register in a precinct in which you are not a qualified voter. The system in our country is based on the premise of one person, one vote.
How old must I be to be able to register to vote?
You must be 18 years old on or before the day of the General Election and 18 years old on or before to vote in a primary for candidates only.
Must I declare a political party affiliation when I register?
No. However, when you vote in a primary election, your vote will determine your party affiliation.
On election day, by requesting a political party ballot, the Voter becomes a Registered Democrat or Registered Republican. Once they have voted that ballot, the party affiliation designation can only be changed by requesting a different party or Issues Only ballot in the next Primary Election. All voters are initially referred to as No Party until a primary ballot has been cast.
Many voters believe they are already classified as a Democrat or Republican but will be listed as No Party. After the primary party selection, the voter's record will show whatever ballot they have requested in the Primary Election.
If the Voter wishes to declare No Party affiliation, their ballot will contain all the same public issues as does the Voter selecting a party ballot, However, they will not have input into Democratic or Republican Party nominations or representatives for that party. Nor can a voter ask to vote for some Democrats and some Republicans in a primary. Cross voting can occur during General elections, but not Primaries.
Where may I register to vote?
Click here to see various the locations of places you are able to register to vote.
How may I request a voter registration form?
You may request a voter registration form by mail, or by calling or visiting the board of elections. Anyone may pick up a registration form for you.
Is there a deadline for sending in the registration form?
In order to vote in an upcoming election, the properly completed voter registration form must be postmarked thirty (30) days before the upcoming election to be valid. YOU MAY ALSO HAND-DELIVER YOUR VOTE REGISTRATION FORM BY THE DEADLINE TO OUR OFFICE.
Do I have to be registered in the county that I consider my residence in order to vote?
How do I find out if I am still registered if I have not voted in a long time?
Contact the board of elections for information specific to your situation. For an online voter search, click here.
Can I register to vote if I am a felon?
Yes, if you are not currently incarcerated.
Can a homeless person register to vote?
What form do I fill out to change my address or my name?
Our Registration Form is available for you to complete online. You may also complete an Ohio Voter Registration Form at any registration site.
I registered, but I never received a notice from the board of elections that I am registered. How do I find out if my new registration was really processed?
It is a good idea to confirm your registration status with the board of elections by the registration deadline, which is 30 days before the election. Please reference our online voter registration database by clicking here.