How do you vote in Ohio? Here’s everything you need to know

How to vote in Ohio

Ohio is expected to have record high voter turnout for the Nov. 3 general election, which will be conducted during a global pandemic.

Here is what you need to know about registering to vote, applying for an absentee ballot, voting early in-person and voting at the polls on Election Day.

How to register to vote: You can register online by visiting VoteOhio.gov. Or you can also download an application, print it and mail it to your county board of elections.

When to register to vote: To vote in the Nov. 3 election, you must be registered by Oct. 5.

Who can register to vote: U.S. citizens, at least 18 years old on or before the next general election, and a resident of Ohio for at least 30 days before the election.

Should I check my voter registration? Yes. You can do so here: https://voterlookup.ohiosos.gov/voterlookup.aspx

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Documents needed to register online: Ohio driver’s license or state ID with number; name; date of birth; address; last four digits of your Social Security number.

How can I request an absentee ballot? Ohio law doesn’t allow for making the requests online or by email. You can find the application form here: https://www.ohiosos.gov/publications/#abr Print it, fill it out and mail it to your county board of elections. If you don’t have a printer, watch your mailbox — the Ohio Secretary of State will mail absentee ballot applications to all registered voters sometime around Labor Day.

When can I make that request? Anytime between now and Oct. 31. But officials warn that Ohio’s absentee ballot application deadline does not allow enough time for the U.S. Postal Service to carry the application to the board of elections, the ballots back to voters, and then the voted ballots back to the board. The advice is do not procrastinate.

Do I need a reason to vote absentee? No, not in Ohio.

When will the ballot be sent to me? Ballots will be mailed starting Oct. 6 when Ohio’s 28 days of early voting starts. The later you apply, the later it’ll arrive.

Butler County Board of Elections officials say the U.S. Postal Service delivered 318 ballots on May 11 that were mailed on or before April 27. They will not be counted as ballots had to be received by May 8 to be included in the official run of the April 28 presidential primary. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Butler County Board of Elections officials say the U.S. Postal Service delivered 318 ballots on May 11 that were mailed on or before April 27. They will not be counted as ballots had to be received by May 8 to be included in the official run of the April 28 presidential primary. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Do I have to pay for postage? Yes. Depending on the size of the ballot determined by the number of local issues, postage varies by county and in some areas can cost more than one 55-cent Forever Stamp.

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Deadlines for absentee ballots: Mailed ballots must be postmarked no later than Nov. 2 and received by the board of elections no later than 10 days after Election Day.

Can I track my application and ballot? Yes. https://www.ohiosos.gov/elections/voters/toolkit/ballot-tracking/

What if I don’t want to use the U.S. Postal Service? You can drop off your absentee ballot at your local county board of elections anytime before the polls close at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3. Each board will have a secure drop box for ballots.

Can I ask someone else to take my ballot to the board of elections? Only the voter or their immediate family can drop off ballots in Ohio.

What if I want to vote early in-person? Ohio has 28 days of early in-person voting at county boards of elections.

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What are the early in-person voting hours and days? Oct. 6 to Oct. 9 and Oct. 12 to Oct. 16, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Oct. 19 to Oct. 23, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Oct. 24, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Oct. 25, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Oct. 26 to Oct. 30, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Oct. 31, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Nov. 1, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Nov. 2, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Will the polls be open for in-person voting on Election Day? Yes, polls will be open 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3.

What identification do I need to vote early in-person or on Election Day? An unexpired drivers license or state ID card or mail such as a utility bill, paycheck, government check or bank statement showing your current address. Here is a full list of acceptable forms of ID: https://www.ohiosos.gov/elections/voters/id-requirements/

What if I forget my ID? You can still vote a provisional ballot by providing your drivers license number or the last four digits of your Social Security number. Once the information is verified, your ballot will be counted.

How can I find my polling location? It’s a good idea to check before you go since some locations have moved due to the pandemic. You can search for it here: https://www.ohiosos.gov/elections/voters/toolkit/polling-location/

Is there an option to vote curbside at my polling place? Yes. Two poll workers — one from each political party — can meet voters with disabilities curbside with paper ballots. A directive from Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose allows those with physical disabilities as well as voter with concerns about entering a polling place to exercise the curbside voting option.

What if I want to be a poll worker? Ohio deploys 35,000 workers across 3,600 polling places. Workers are paid about $140 and receive online training through the county board of elections.

What are the requirements to be a poll worker? You must be a registered voter and never been convicted of a felony. High school students 17 and older may be poll workers through the Youth at the Booth program.

How can I sign up? https://www.ohiosos.gov/elections/precinct-election-officials/peosignup/

How do I contact my local county board of elections?

Butler County

1802 Princeton Road, Suite 600, Hamilton, OH 45011 Office Hours: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday Telephone: (513) 887-3700 Fax: (513) 887-5535 E-mail: butler@OhioSoS.gov Website: elections.bcohio.gov

Champaign County

1512 S. U.S. 68, Suite L100, Urbana, OH 43078 Office Hours: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday Telephone: (937) 484-1575 Fax: (937) 484-1578 E-mail: champaig@OhioSoS.gov Website: www.boe.ohio.gov/champaign/

Clark County

3130 E. Main St., Springfield, OH 45505 Mailing Address: PO Box 1766 Springfield, OH 45501-1766 Office Hours: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday Telephone: (937) 521-2120 Fax: (937) 328-2603 E-mail: elections@clark.boe.ohio.gov Website: www.boe.ohio.gov/clark/

Greene County

551 Ledbetter Road, Xenia, OH 45385 Office Hours: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday Telephone: (937) 562-6170 Fax: (937) 562-6171 E-mail: greene@OhioSoS.gov Website: www.greene.boe.ohio.gov

Miami County

215 W. Main St., Troy, OH 45373 Office Hours: 8 a.m-4 p.m. Monday-Friday Telephone: (937) 440-3900 Fax: (937) 440-3901 E-mail: miami@OhioSoS.gov Website: www.boe.ohio.gov/miami/

Montgomery County

451 W. Third St. Dayton, OH 45422 Office Hours: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday Telephone: (937) 225-5656 Fax: (937) 496-7798 E-mail: montgome@OhioSoS.gov Website: www.montgomery.boe.ohio.gov

Warren County

520 Justice Dr., Lebanon, OH 45036 Office Hours: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday Telephone: (513) 695-1358 Fax: (513) 695-2953 E-mail: wcboe@warrencountyohio.gov Website: vote.warrencountyohio.gov