Get Ready to Vote
There are lots of rules around voting, but we're here to help! This page offers all the "Get Ready to Vote" basic information you'll need to cast your ballot with ease and success.
You must be registered to vote at least 30 days before an election.
Every Ohioan should regularly confirm that they are properly registered to vote. Click here to check your Voter Registration Status and to find your voting location.
Voter ID Requirements
Ohio law requires that every voter, upon appearing at the polling place to vote on Election Day, must announce his or her full name and current address, and provide proof of identity. The forms of identification that may be used by a voter who appears at a polling place to vote on Election Day include:
An unexpired Ohio driver’s license or state identification card with present or former address, so long as the voter’s present residential address is printed in the official list of registered voters for that precinct;
A military identification;
A photo identification that was issued by the United States government or the State of Ohio, that contains the voter’s name and current address and that has an expiration date that has not passed;
(For the following forms of identification, "current" is less than 12 months old.)
An original or copy of a current utility or cell phone bill with the voter’s name and present address;
An original or copy of a current bank statement with the voter’s name and present address;
An original or copy of a current government check with the voter’s name and present address;
An original or copy of a current paycheck with the voter’s name and present address; or
An original or copy of a current other government document (other than a notice of voter registration mailed by a board of elections) that shows the voter’s name and present address, including license renewal and other notices, fishing and marine equipment operator’s license, court papers, or grade reports or transcripts.
If you do not have any of the above forms of identification you may cast a provisional ballot. To do so you must provide either your Ohio driver’s license number, state identification number (which begins with two letters followed by six numbers), or the last four digits of your Social Security number. Once the information is reviewed and verified by the board of elections, your ballot will be counted.
If you do not provide one of the above documents, your driver’s license/state identification number, or the last four digits of your Social Security number at the precinct, you will still be able to vote using a provisional ballot. However, in order for that ballot to be counted, you must return to the board of elections no later than seven days following Election Day to provide a qualifying form of identification. Follow this link for more information on provisional ballots.
Voting by Mail
All Ohio voters whose registration information is up-to-date have the opportunity to vote in any election from the convenience of their own home by requesting an absentee ballot. Voters must fill out and return an application to vote by mail and their absentee ballot will be mailed to them so they may make their selections at their leisure and return their ballot to the board of elections ahead of Election Day. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is three days before the election in which you want to vote, but be sure to give yourself plenty of time and send your application as soon as possible if you choose to vote by mail!
Absentee ballots must be postmarked by the day before the election in order to be counted. You can also return your absentee ballot in-person to your county board of elections before the close of the polls at 7:30pm on Election Day.
You must complete and submit a separate application for each election in which you want to vote.
STEPS TO REQUEST AND VOTE AN ABSENTEE BALLOT:
Mail the form back to your local county board of elections.
Wait to receive your ballot in the mail from your county board of elections. If you have questions about your absentee ballot request, you should call your county board of elections or you can track the status of your ballot request as well as your voted absentee ballot through the Voter Toolkit.
Return your voted ballot. You can send it by U.S. Mail or deliver it in person to your county board of elections, but the return envelope containing your marked ballot must either be received by your county board of elections prior to the close of the polls on Election Day, or postmarked no later than the day before the election and received by the board of elections no later than 10 days after the election.
To make sure your absentee ballot is counted, it must be received by your board of elections by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day OR be postmarked by the day before Election Day.
Starting the day after the close of voter registration, all registered voters can vote early at their local county Board of Elections office.