State and local elections officials said voters should be ready to vote in a May 3 primary election this year, despite uncertainty surrounding legislative redistricting. Early voting in the primary starts Tuesday.
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 return it to your county board of elections.
When to register to vote: The deadline to register to vote in the May 3 primary election is Monday.
Who can register to vote: U.S. citizens, at least 18 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 at VoteOhio.gov.
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 at VoteOhio.gov. Print it, fill it out and mail it to your county board of elections. You can also call your local board of elections and request a form be sent to you.
When can I make that request? Anytime between now and noon April 30. 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. Get your application in as soon as possible.
Do I need a reason to vote absentee? No, not in Ohio.
When will the ballot be sent to me? Requested ballots will be mailed after voter registration closes. The later you apply, the later it’ll arrive.
Do I have to pay for postage to mail my completed ballot back? 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 58-cent Forever Stamp.
Deadlines for absentee ballots: Absentee ballots returned by U.S. Mail must be postmarked no later than May 2 and received by boards of elections by May 13 to be counted.
Can I track my application and ballot? Yes, at VoteOhio.gov.
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. May 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 22 days of early in-person voting at county boards of elections.
What are the early in-person voting hours and days? April 5 through April 8, April 11 through April 15, and April 18 through April 22, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; April 25 through April 29, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; April 30, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; May 1, 1 to 5 p.m.; May 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, May 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. A full list of acceptable forms of ID is at VoteOhio.gov.
What if I forget my ID? You can still vote a provisional ballot by providing your driver’s 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 because some locations have moved in some local counties. 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.
What if I want to be a poll worker? Ohio deploys 35,000 workers across 3,600 polling places. Workers are paid on average between $100 to $150 and receive training through the county board of elections.
What are the requirements to be a poll worker? You must be a registered voter and never 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? Learn about signing up to be a poll worker at VoteOhio.gov.