Who can vote
- be a citizen of the United States;
- be a resident of Ohio for at least 30 days immediately before the election in which you want to vote;
- be at least 18 years old on or before the day of the next general election day (if you will be 18 on or before the day of the general election, you may vote in the primary election for candidates only, but you cannot vote on issues or party central committees until you are 18);
- not be incarcerated (in jail or in prison) for a felony conviction;
- not be found incompetent by a court for purposes of voting by a probate court;
- not be permanently disenfranchised for violations of election laws.
- *find more information on voting rights restoration here
Online voter registration
- Ohio offers online voter registration.
- You should know: you need an Ohio driver’s license or Ohio identification card and a Social Security number to use Ohio’s online voter registration system. If you don’t have an Ohio-issued ID, you can still register by mail to vote.
- You can register online to vote until Monday, October 5, 2020.
By-mail voter registration
Use the Ohio voter registration form
You can also register to vote using the Ohio voter registration form. Be sure to read the instructions carefully and fill it out completely. Send the completed form to your local election official. To register by mail, the form must be postmarked by Monday, October 5, 2020.
Use the National Voter Registration Form
- Print and fill out the National Voter Registration Form.
- Box 6 – ID Number: Your Social Security number is requested. Providing this number is voluntary. This information allows the Board of Elections to verify your registration if necessary (O.R.C. 3503.14). [Federal law requires that you provide your Ohio driver’s license number to register to vote. If you do not have a driver’s license then you will have to provide at least the last four digits of your Social Security number. If you don’t have either number you will have to write “NONE” on the form and the State will assign you a number.]
- Box 7 – Choice of Party: Ohio does NOT require that you register with a party to participate in partisan primary elections.
- Box 8 – Race or Ethnic Group: Leave blank. This information is not required.
- Review the “Who can vote?” section above and check that you’re eligible.
- Sign the form.
- Send the completed form to your local election official. To register by mail, the form must be postmarked by Monday, October 5, 2020.
- If you are registering to vote for the first time in your jurisdiction and are mailing this registration application, Federal law requires you to show proof of identification the first time you vote. Proof of identification includes: A current and valid photo identification or A current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or government document that shows your name and address. More information here.
Election Day registration
In-person voter registration
- You can also register to vote in person. Contact your local election office for information on when and where to register to vote. The deadline to register to vote in person is Monday, October 5, 2020.
- Learn more by visiting the Secretary of State for Ohio or contacting your local election official.
Get step-by-step help
Military and overseas voters
- Fill out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), or download a copy. Your election official may have questions, so please provide an email address or phone number where they can reach you.
- Send the application to your election official.
- It is never too early to submit an FPCA! Please do so as soon as possible. You can look up recommended mailing dates by country and region.
- Please fill out and send back your ballot as soon as you receive it. Following are recommended return dates to make sure your ballot arrives at your election office on time:
- 35 days before election – On a ship at sea: September 28, 2020
- 30 days before election – Outside of the US: October 2, 2020
- 11 days before the election – Stateside: October 23, 2020
- States begin mailing absentee ballots at least 45 days before Election Day. If you haven’t received your ballot by 30 days before Election Day, contact your local election office.
If after submitting your FPCA, your ballot does not arrive, contact your election official first. Then:
- You can still vote using the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). Print, sign, and mail your FWAB to your local election office.
- If you mail a FWAB and then receive your regular absentee ballot, you should complete and mail your absentee ballot also. Election officials will ensure that only one ballot is counted.
Check your voter registration status
Dates and deadlines
- Election day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
- The deadline to register online to vote is Monday, October 5, 2020.
- The deadline for registering by mail to vote is (postmarked by) Monday, October 5, 2020.
- The deadline to register in person to vote is Monday, October 5, 2020.
- The deadline to request a ballot by mail is (received by) Saturday, October 31, 2020.
- The early voting period runs from Tuesday, October 6, 2020 to Monday, November 2, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live.