How To Vote In Ohio

ACLU of Ohio Vote Center

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. Click here for the form in Spanish.
    • **This is the recommended method for students living on-campus at Ohio colleges and universities so as to avoid any confusion with the online registration portal.**
  • Go in-person to the board of elections, Ohio BMV offices, public high schools, or libraries.

Step 2: Identification

Make sure you have an acceptable form of ID. Do not wait until the last minute. You must have ONE of the following:

  • Photo ID card with your name and current address, like a driver’s license or state ID card.
  • Other government ID showing your name and current address. Unfortunately, U.S. Passports and student IDs are not accepted.
  • U.S. military ID card, with your name and photo. (Address is not required.)
  • Identification that shows your name and present address which could include a current (within last 12 months) cell phone bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or other government document, such as a Social Security or Ohio Job and Family Services benefit letter.

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 10 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.”

» Back to ACLU of Ohio Vote Center