Step 1: Registration
You must be registered at least 30 days before Election Day in order to vote, and your address must be current.
Check if you are registered at your current address.
Then, as needed, make sure you register or update your Ohio voting address. You can do this one of three ways:
- Register to vote online.
- Download the registration form and mail it in.
- Go in-person to the board of elections, Ohio BMV offices, public high schools, or libraries.
Step 2: Identification
To cast a ballot in-person, either during the early voting period or on Election Day, you must have a valid photo ID. Any of the following are acceptable:
- Unexpired Ohio driver’s license with current or former address
- Unexpired state ID card with current or former address
- U.S. passport or passport card
- Military ID, specifically a U.S. Military ID card, Ohio National Guard ID card or a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs ID card.
To vote by mail, you may use the last four digits of your Social Security Number (SSN) as identification when casting an absentee ballot.
Step 3: Decide When and Where to Vote
You can vote in one of three ways:
- Vote-by-mail ("absentee ballot") This allows you to complete your ballot from the comfort of your home, or wherever you may be. Submit an absentee ballot request form to your local board of elections. In the meantime, visit their website to check out a sample ballot. Absentee ballots are available about a month before Election Day. Follow instructions carefully, and mail your completed ballot as early as possible. Completed absentee ballots must be received by the close of polls on Election Day, if hand delivered. Mailed-in ballots must be postmarked no later than midnight on Election Day. For Ohio voters in the military or who are overseas, mail-in voting begins 45 days before Election Day, and the absentee ballots must be received no later than four days after Election Day.
- Early in-person. Starting the day after the close of voter registration, registered voters can vote early in-person at your local board of elections (note: not at your regular polling place). Check your local board of elections' website for exact days and times of early voting.
- In-person on Election Day. Precincts are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. By law, you have the right to vote if you are in line at the polling place when the polls close. You need to vote in the correct precinct. Find your polling location. Visit the website of your board of elections to check out a sample ballot before you go to vote.
Note: Under federal law, all limited English proficiency voters throughout the U.S. may obtain assistance in voting from a person of their choice, as long as this person is not the voter’s employer, or an agent of the employer or of the voter’s union.
Want all this info in an easy-to-digest hard-copy format? Request copies of our “Ohio Voter Empowerment Card.”