Does everyone who wants to vote in
Ohio have to be registered to vote here?
What are the qualifications to
register and to vote in Ohio?
You are qualified to register to vote in Ohio if you meet all the
- 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
November 3, you may vote in the primary election for candidates,
but you cannot vote on issues until you are 18);
- You will be a resident of Ohio for at least 30 consecutive
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
- 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
Where do I vote?
Where you vote depends on where you are determined by law to have
a qualifying voting residence. Your qualifying voting residence is
determined by the county board of elections using guidelines
established by Ohio law (Revised Code (R.C.) 3503.02). You may vote
only from the residence that qualifies as your voting residence.
Your voting residence is the place in which your habitation is fixed
and to which, whenever you are absent, you intend to return. Also,
your voting residence is a location you consider to be a permanent,
not a temporary, residence. You will not lose your voting residency
in Ohio if you leave temporarily and intend to return to Ohio,
unless you are absent from the state for four consecutive years. You
may contact your local board of elections if you have any questions
regarding your specific situation.
(Exception: You will not lose your residency
after four years if your absence from Ohio is due to your employment
with Ohio or the United States government, including military
service, unless you vote in, or permanently move to, another state
If you do not have a fixed place of habitation, but you are a
consistent or regular inhabitant of a shelter or other location to
which you intend to return, you may use that shelter or other
location as your residence for purposes of registering to vote.
For information on voting rights of U.S. citizens living outside
the U.S., see
Uniformed and Overseas Citizens.
You may also perform a polling place search by
May a college student register and
vote from his or her school address in Ohio?
Yes, a college student may vote using his or her Ohio school
residence address. However, the student may not also vote an
absentee ballot where he or she last lived (e.g., with one or more
parent or guardian). When a college student votes from his or her
school address, the school residence is considered to be the place
to which the studentís habitation is fixed and to which, whenever
the student is absent, the student intends to return, and is
considered by the student to be his or her permanent residence at
the time of voting.