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Ohio's May 3 primary still on. Here’s how to make sure you’re registered

Ohio Voting generic
Posted at 6:25 PM, Mar 23, 2022

The deadline to register to vote in the May 3 primary election is April 4.

Ohio election officials say the May 3 primary election is on, though the process of finalizing ballots is on hold amid ongoing disputes over legislative district boundaries.

It’s unclear if candidates for the General Assembly and Ohio House of Representatives will be on the May ballot because of legal disputes over new maps created by the Ohio Redistricting Commission. And some people have pushed to delay the primary altogether — though legislative leaders have expressed little appetite do so.

So boards of elections — and voters — are urged to be ready for a May 3 primary, which for voters means making sure they are registered by April 4.

“We are at this point having a May 3 election,” Montgomery County Board of Elections Director Jeff Rezabek said at a media open house Wednesday.

Even without the disputed legislative races, the May 3 primary will be voters’ chance to pick political parties’ candidates for offices such as Ohio governor, U.S. Senate and county commissioners; and May 3 will decide important local tax issues such as new income taxes in Beavercreek and Trotwood.

To vote in the May 3 primary, you must be a U.S. citizen, and at least 18 years of age on or before the Nov. 8 general election, and eligible to vote in Ohio.

You can register to vote, confirm your registration or update your voter registration address online at VoteOhio.gov.

You can also download an application, print it out and mail it to your board of elections. Or you can request a form mailed to you from your county board of elections or the Ohio Secretary of State.

You may obtain a voter registration form, and register to vote in person at locations including:

  • Your local board of elections.
  • The office of the registrar or any deputy registrar of the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
  • Public libraries.
  • Public high schools or vocational schools.
  • County treasurers’ offices.
  • Offices of designated agencies, such as the Department of Job and Family Services, or Department of Developmental Disabilities.

Brian Sleeth, president of the Ohio Association of Election Officials and director of the Warren County Board of Elections, said off-year primaries usually draw around 20% turnout despite how important many of the issues and candidates are.

“It’s all at the local level that affects their lives the most,” he said.