Ohio | Voting Guide
Registration Deadlines and Election Dates
Voter Registration Deadline: 30 days before Election Day
Primary Election Registration Deadline: February 18
Primary Election: April 28
General Election Registration Deadline: October 5
General Election: November 3
Official Election Websites
Register at School or Home
Students have a choice about where to register to vote.
Students attending college may register at their campus address or choose to remain registered or register at their permanent or home address.
You may only be registered and vote in one location.
What Type of ID Do I Need to Register?
Ohio’s voter registration form asks for your Ohio driver’s license or ID number or the last four digits of your Social Security number. Be sure to provide one of these numbers if you have it.
What Type of ID Do I Need to Vote?
Those who vote early in person are required to provide the last four digits of their social security number if they lack an Ohio driver’s license or non-driver ID card.
Those who vote at the polls on Election Day must show one of the following types of ID:
Current and valid photo ID issued by the federal government or the State of Ohio (driver’s licenses and non-driver photo IDs issued by the Ohio BMV are acceptable even if the address does not match the address on the voter’s registration.)
A copy or original of a current utility bill (including a cell phone bill), bank statement, paycheck, government check or other government document (including those issued by a public college or university) that shows the voter’s name and current address (but not a notice of an election or a voter registration notification sent by a Board of Elections). A utility bill may be a printout of an electronically transmitted statement for services owed, paid, or a regular paper copy. Colleges and universities may issue students living on campus a current utility bill with a current address that students can use as voter ID. A bill indicating that the student has already paid for utilities is acceptable.
Voters who do not present an acceptable form of ID, driver’s license or state ID number, or the last four digits of their Social Security numbers can cast a provisional ballot but must bring ID to the county board of elections within seven days for their vote to be counted.
Where Do I Vote?
Make a plan. Look up your voting site and hours at: voterlookup.sos.state.oh.us/voterlookup.aspx
How Can I Vote?
Registered voters have the right to vote by mail without an excuse. An application to vote absentee by mail is available at the Secretary of State’s website.
Applications must be received by your county board of elections by noon on the third day before the election if returned by mail and by 6:00 p.m. on the Friday before the election if returned in person.
The completed absentee ballot must be postmarked by the day before the election or returned in-person to the county board of elections before the close of the polls on Election Day.
Registered voters have the right to vote early in person without an excuse. Early in-person voting begins the day after the close of voter registration and ends the day before Election Day.
Check with your local board of elections for dates and hours. Check the early in-person voting schedule here.
Voting sites will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. If you are in line by the closing time, then you have a right to vote.
Registering to Vote Does Not Affect Your:
Federal Financial Aid
Where you register to vote will not affect federal financial aid such as Pell Grants, Perkins or Stafford loans, or your dependency status for FAFSA.
Status as a Dependent on Your Parents’ Taxes
Being registered to vote at a different address from your parents does not prevent them from claiming you as a dependent on their taxes.
Being deemed out-of-state for tuition purposes does not prevent you from choosing to register to vote in your campus community.
Will registering to vote in Ohio affect my driver’s license or car registration?
Registering to vote in Ohio does not necessarily affect your driver’s license or car registration. However, as a new resident of Ohio, you may be required to make changes to your driver’s license or car registration regardless of whether you register to vote there. You may wish to contact the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
Fair Elections Center and Campus Vote Project intend the information contained herein to be used only as a general guide. This document should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a licensed Ohio legal professional.
Last updated May 2020