Voting FAQs

Voting FAQs are adapted from Voting 1-2-3, which was made possible in part by the League of Women Voters Education Fund and OhioVOTES, a project of COHHIO. Downloadable copies of Voting 1-2-3 (updated April 2016) are available through this link: League of Women Voters of Ohio. Print copies may be ordered by contacting the LWVO office at 614-469-1505.

When do I register to vote?
In Ohio, you must be registered 30 days before the election in which you plan to vote.
I have never voted before; how do I register?
*Fill out a voter registration form, sign it, and return it to your county Board of Elections by the voter registration deadline.

*Voter registration forms are available at your county Board of Elections, the Ohio Secretary of State, public libraries, public high schools, Bureau of Motor Vehicles offices, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services offices, from your local League of Women Voters, or online at: www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/upload/elections/forms/4010.pdf.

*This form is also available from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections website: boe.cuyahogacounty.us/pdf_boe/en-US/Voter_regcard.pdf.
I have voted before; how do I check to make sure I am still registered?
• You can check your registration online at the Secretary of State’s website, www.sos.state.oh.us/SOS/voterquery.aspx?page=361 or by calling your local Board of Elections.
• Cuyahoga County voters can check their registration status online at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections website: boe.cuyahogacounty.us.
What do I do if I moved or changed my name since the last time I voted?
• A change of address can be completed online at www.MyOhioVote.com, if you have an Ohio driver’s license or state ID card number.

• For a change of name, you will need to fill out and submit a new registration form (see instructions above).
Who is eligible to vote?
In order to register to vote in Ohio, you must meet these 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 general election.

3. You will be a resident of Ohio for at least 30 days immediately before the election in which you want to vote.

4. You are not currently in jail or in prison for a felony conviction.

5. You have not been declared incompetent for voting purposes by a probate court.

6. You have not been permanently disenfranchised for violations of election laws.
What do I use for a voter ID in Ohio?
Ohio accepts a wide variety of documents for voter ID purposes:
• A driver’s license or state ID card with your name and photo issued by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The card must be current (not expired), but it can have an old address.
• A U.S. Military ID with your name and photo (address not required).
• A government ID with your name, current address, and photo.

• Note that student ID is not accepted.

• An original or copy of one of the following current documents that shows your name and current address: utility bill (including cell phone bill), bank statement, pay stub, government check, or other government document. The document must have a date within one year of Election Day to be accepted as current.
• If you do not have any of the above, you may use the last 4 digits of your Social Security number. You will have to vote a provisional ballot, but it will be counted so long as the number matches your voter registration. Be sure to complete all fields on the provisional ballot form.

Don’t wait until Election Day. Plan ahead to make sure you have an acceptable form of ID to vote.
Where do I cast my ballot?
Ohio voters have 3 choices on how to cast their ballot:

1. Vote by mail (absentee ballot) - Submit an absentee ballot request form to your county Board of Elections (BOE). The application can be downloaded from the Secretary of State’s website and must be submitted to your BOE by noon on Saturday, Nov. 5. Once the BOE receives a completed absentee application, they will mail you a ballot. Absentee ballot forms now require more complete information for your ballot to be counted. Be sure to follow all instructions carefully. Absentee voting begins Oct. 12. If you mail in your absentee ballot, it must be postmarked no later than November 7, the day before the election. You may also drop off your absentee ballot at your BOE before the close of polls (7:30 pm) on Election Day (Tue., Nov. 8) in order for it to count.

2. Vote early in-person in the county where you are registered - Registered voters may vote early beginning on Oct 12 for the Nov. 8, 2016 general election. Call or check your county Board of Elections’ website for early voting locations. The days and hours have changed. Early voting will be open:
- 8 am to 5 pm, Wednesday through Friday, Oct 12-14
- 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday, Oct. 17-21
- 8 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday, Oct. 24-28
- 8 am to 4 pm on Saturday, Oct. 29
- 1 pm to 5 pm on Sunday, Oct. 30
- 8 am to 7 pm, Monday, Oct 31 through Friday, Nov. 4;
- 8 am to 4 pm on Saturday, Nov. 5
- 1 pm to 5 pm on Sunday, Nov. 6
- 8 am to 2 pm on Monday, Nov. 7

3. Vote at your polling place on Election Day - Election Day is Tuesday, November 8, 2016. Polls are open 6:30 am to 7:30 pm. By law, if you are in line by 7:30 pm, the polls must stay open to let you vote. Note that many polling locations and precincts have changed since the last election. It’s a good idea to confirm your current polling place and precinct before you go vote by contacting your BOE or looking it up online at www.MyOhioVote.com.

If you have to vote a provisional ballot, be sure to read and follow the instructions on the application and envelope. Provisional ballot forms require more information for your ballot to be counted than in previous years. Be sure to follow all instructions carefully.
As a college student where do I register to vote—at my parents address or my school address?
• By law, college students may choose which address they use for voting, either their parents’ home address or their address at school. Choose one and make sure you register with that address by the voter registration deadline.
• In Ohio, you must be registered to vote by October 11 in order to vote in the November 8, 2016 general election. Voter registration deadlines may differ in other states, so if you choose to vote from an address outside of Ohio, be sure to check their deadline at www.vote411.org.
• In deciding where to register, think about these questions: Do you have (or can you get) an accepted voter ID for that address? If voting at home, will you be able to go home to vote in person or will you need to request an absentee ballot to vote by mail?
If I am a college student voting in Ohio how and where do I cast my vote?
Once you have decided where you want to vote (at home or at school), next you need to decide how you want to vote. You have a choice between voting by mail (“absentee voting”), voting early in-person at the Board of Elections of the county where you registered, or voting at your polling place on Election Day. See the information above for Where do I cast my ballot?

• Vote by mail – You will need to fill out and send in an absentee ballot request form. The Secretary of State will send an absentee application to every Ohio registered voter in 2014, or you can request one by calling your county Board of Elections.
• Vote early in-person – Registered voters may vote early beginning on October 12, for the November 8, 2016 general election. Check with your county Board of Elections for early voting hours and locations.
• Vote at your polling place on Election Day – Election Day is Tuesday, November 8, 2016. Polls are open from 6:30am until 7:30pm. By law, if you are in line at 7:30pm, the polls must stay open to allow you to vote. Contact your county Board of Elections to find out your polling place and precinct or look them up online at www.MyOhioVote.com. Note that many polling locations and precincts have changed since the last election, so it’s a good idea to confirm your current precinct and polling location before you go vote, by looking it up online at www.MyOhioVote.com.

Be sure to check your that you have a valid ID – student IDs are not accepted. See FAQ above.
If I am a college student voting outside of Ohio what else do I need to know and where do I find that information?
Voter registration deadlines may differ in other states, so be sure to check the deadline at www.vote411.org if you choose to use an address outside of Ohio. Many states have changed their voter ID law, so if you are voting outside of Ohio be sure to check their requirements at www.vote411.org.
Where can I go to get more voting and election information?
League of Women Voters of Ohio
Phone: (614) 469-1505
Email: lwvoinfo@lwvohio.org
Web: www.lwvohio.org

League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland
Phone: (216) 781-0555
Email: LWVGreaterCleveland@gmail.com
Web: LWVGreaterCleveland.org

Ohio Secretary of State
180 East Broad Street, 16th Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215
Phone: Elections Division (614) 466-2585
Toll-Free: (877) SOS-Ohio (767-6446) ext. 2
TTY: (619) 728-3295
TTY Toll-free: (877) TTY-Ohio (889-6446)
Web: www.sos.state.oh.us

Cuyahoga County Board of Elections
2925 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44115
Phone: (216) 443-3298
Web: boe.cuyahogacounty.us

To look up other counties in Ohio:
Look up your county in the state Boards of Elections directory:
www.sos.state.oh.us/SOS/elections/electionsofficials/boeDirectory.aspx

Voting Information for All States:

League of Women Voters of the U.S. Education Fund provides information in all U.S. states at www.vote411.org

Election Protection, a nonpartisan coalition, provides toll free hotlines for voting information or to report problems. 1-866-our-vote (English) and 1-888-Ve-Y-Vota (Spanish). Also available online at www.866ourvote.org