Ohio Constitution
The 1851 Constitution with amendments current through March 2020


Article V - Elective Franchise

§ 01 Who may vote

Every citizen of the United States, of the age of eighteen years, who has been a resident of the state, county, township, or ward, such time as may be provided by law, and has been registered to vote for thirty days, has the qualifications of an elector, and is entitled to vote at all elections. Any elector who fails to vote in at least one election during any period of four consecutive years shall cease to be an elector unless he again registers to vote.

(Amended, November, 1977.)

§ 02 By ballot

All elections shall be by ballot.

§ 02a Names of candidates on ballot

The names of all candidates for an office at any election shall be arranged in a group under the title of that office. The general assembly shall provide by law the means by which ballots shall give each candidate's name reasonably equal position by rotation or other comparable methods to the extent practical and appropriate to the voting procedure used. At any election in which a candidate's party designation appears on the ballot, the name or designation of each candidate's party, if any, shall be printed under or after each candidate's name in less prominent type face than that in which the candidate's name is printed. An elector may vote for candidates (other than candidates for electors of President and Vice-President of the United States, and other than candidates for governor and lieutenant governor) only and in no other way than by indicating his vote for each candidate separately from the indication of his vote for any other candidate.

(Amended, effective June 8, 1976; SJR No.4.)

§ 03 Repealed

This section referred to the privilege from arrest of voters during elections.

§ 04 Forfeiture of elective franchise

The General Assembly shall have power to exclude from the privilege of voting, or of being eligible to office, any person convicted of a felony.

(Amended, effective June 8, 1976; SJR No.16.)

§ 05 Repealed

Repealed, June 8, 1976.

This section referred to those persons not considered residents of the state.

§ 06 Idiots or insane persons

No idiot, or insane person, shall be entitled to the privileges of an elector.

§ 07 Primary elections

All nominations for elective state, district, county and municipal offices shall be made at direct primary elections or by petition as provided by law, and provision shall be made by law for a preferential vote for United States senator; but direct primaries shall not be held for the nomination of township officers or for the officers of municipalities of less than two thousand population, unless petitioned for by a majority of the electors of such township or municipality. All delegates from this state to the national conventions of political parties shall be chosen by direct vote of the electors in a manner provided by law. Each candidate for such delegate shall state his first and second choices for the presidency, but the name of no candidate for the presidency shall be so used without his written authority.

(Amended, effective January 1, 1976; SJR No.10.)

§ 08 Term limits

No person shall hold the office of United States Senator from Ohio for a period longer than two successive terms of six years. No person shall hold the office of United States Representative from Ohio for a period longer than four successive terms of two years. Terms shall be considered successive unless separated by a period of four or more years. Only terms beginning on or after January 1, 1993 shall be considered in determining an individual's eligibility to hold office.

(Adopted November 3, 1992)

§ 09 Eligibility of officeholders

In determining the eligibility of an individual to hold an office in accordance with articles II, III, and V of this Constitution, (A) time spent in an office in fulfillment of a term to which another person was first elected shall not be considered provided that a period of at least four years passed between the time, if any, in which the individual previously held that office, and the time the individual is elected or appointed to fulfill the unexpired term; and (B) a person who is elected to an office in a regularly scheduled general election and resigns prior to the completion of the term for which he or she was elected, shall be considered to have served the full term in that office.

(Adopted November 3, 1992)

This site is not the official publication of Ohio's Constitution. For the official publication, please contact the Secretary of State's office. This version is published with approval from the Secretary of State's office. To report any problems with this site, or errors to the content, please write to the webmaster@lis.state.oh.us.