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Voting in Ohio

Ohio's first formal count of voters age 21 and over began on August 1, 1803. Ohio's first law requiring registration of voters was enacted in 1845. Today, although more than 6 million Ohioans are registered to vote, many citizens remain unregistered and ineligible to vote. It's easy to register by mailing a registration form to the Secretary of State or at any of the designated registration sites listed below.

You are qualified to vote if:

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

  • You are a citizen of the United States;
  • 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 the general election, you may vote in the primary election to nominate candidates, but you cannot vote on issues or party central committees until you are 18);
  • You will be a resident of Ohio for at least 30 days immediately before the election in which you want to vote;
  • You are not incarcerated (in prison or jail) for a felony conviction under the laws of this state, another state or the United States;
  • You have not been declared incompetent for voting purposes by a probate court; and
  • 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 can I register?

You may obtain a form in person, and register in person, at any of the following locations:

  • The office of the Secretary of State;
  • The office of any of the 88 county boards of elections;
  • The office of the registrar or any Deputy Registrar of the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles;
  • Public libraries;
  • Public high schools or vocational schools;
  • County treasurers' offices; or
  • Offices of designated agencies including:
    • The Department of Job and Family Services;
    • The Department of Health (including the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program);
    • The Department of Mental Health;
    • The Department of Developmental Disabilities;
    • The Rehabilitation Services Commission; or
    • Any state-assisted college or university that provides assistance to disabled students.

When you have completed your voter registration application, please review it carefully for completeness and accuracy. You may either personally deliver, or send by U.S. Mail, your voter registration application to a county board of elections or the Secretary of State's office. You, or another person acting on your behalf, also may deliver your application to one of the offices listed above, but you should ensure your application reaches the office of a board of elections or the Secretary of State no later than the voter registration deadline, the 30th day before the election at which you want to vote.

Where do I vote?

You can cast your ballot at the polling place designated to serve the precinct in which you are registered. If you are in doubt as to the location or hours of this polling place, to determine alternative polling locations, or inquire about absentee ballots, check with your county Board of Elections. Contact information for Ohio's 88 county Boards of Elections is located on the Secretary of State's web site.

Text on this page from the Secretary of State's office.