Voter Eligibility

Does everyone who wants to vote in Ohio have to be registered to vote here?

Yes.

What are the qualifications to register and to vote in Ohio?

You are qualified to register to vote in Ohio if you meet all the following requirements:

  1. You are a citizen of the United States;
  2. 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 3, you may vote in the primary election for candidates, but you cannot vote on issues until you are 18);
  3. You will be a resident of Ohio for at least 30 consecutive days immediately before the election in which you want to vote;
  4. You are not incarcerated (in prison or jail) for a felony conviction under the laws of this state, another state or the United States;
  5. You have not been declared incompetent for voting purposes by a probate court; and
  6. You have not been permanently disenfranchised for violating the election laws.

You are eligible to vote in elections held in your voting precinct 30 consecutive days after you are duly registered to vote in this state; however, you may request an absentee ballot during that period.

Where do I vote?

Where you vote depends on where you are determined by law to have a qualifying voting residence. Your qualifying voting residence is determined by the county board of elections using guidelines established by Ohio law (Revised Code (R.C.) 3503.02). You may vote only from the residence that qualifies as your voting residence. Your voting residence is the place in which your habitation is fixed and to which, whenever you are absent, you intend to return. Also, your voting residence is a location you consider to be a permanent, not a temporary, residence. You will not lose your voting residency in Ohio if you leave temporarily and intend to return to Ohio, unless you are absent from the state for four consecutive years. You may contact your local board of elections if you have any questions regarding your specific situation.

(Exception: You will not lose your residency after four years if your absence from Ohio is due to your employment with Ohio or the United States government, including military service, unless you vote in, or permanently move to, another state or country.)

If you do not have a fixed place of habitation, but you are a consistent or regular inhabitant of a shelter or other location to which you intend to return, you may use that shelter or other location as your residence for purposes of registering to vote.

For information on voting rights of U.S. citizens living outside the U.S., see Uniformed and Overseas Citizens.

You may also perform a polling place search by clicking here.

May a college student register and vote from his or her school address in Ohio?

Yes, a college student may vote using his or her Ohio school residence address. However, the student may not also vote an absentee ballot where he or she last lived (e.g., with one or more parent or guardian). When a college student votes from his or her school address, the school residence is considered to be the place to which the student’s habitation is fixed and to which, whenever the student is absent, the student intends to return, and is considered by the student to be his or her permanent residence at the time of voting.

Voter Identification

When you vote, Bring I.D. Any forms of identification will be accepted. They are:

Early In-Person and Absentee Voting

  • The last four digits of voter’s Social Security number; or driver’s license number; or
  • A copy of a current and valid photo identification, (i.e. Ohio driver’s license, state ID card, government ID). Photo identification must show name and address; or
  • A copy of a current utility bill (including cell phone bill), bank statement, paycheck, government check, or other government document that shows the voter’s name and current address (including from a public college or university).

Election Day Voting

  • A current and valid photo identification (i.e. Ohio driver’s license, state ID card, government ID). Photo identification must show name and address (does not need to be current address for driver’s license or state id card); or
  • A military identification that shows the voter’s name. (Does not need to show address); or
  • A copy of a current utility bill (including cell phone bill), bank statement, paycheck, government check, or other government document that shows the voter’s name and current address (including from a public college or university).

NOTE: Ohio law provides you cannot use as proof of identification a notice that the board of elections mailed to you. Voters who do not provide one of these documents will still be able to vote by provisional ballot.