Registering To Vote
Voting Laws vary from state to state. Our Voter Registration page contains information on the registration process for Ohio.
What are the qualifications to register to vote in Ohio?
- 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;
- 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 United States;
- 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.
How can I register to vote?
You may register to vote in many ways! You can register online at the Ohio Secretary of State's website, by mail using a downloadable Ohio Voter Registration Application or in person at your local Board of Elections (Portage County Board of Elections) or library.
Keeping your voter registration up-to-date
If you are already registered to vote in Ohio but have moved within Ohio and/or changed your name, you must update your voter registration by submitting a new voter registration form or change of address form for your new residence.
How to register without a permanent address
Residence is important; it determines offices and issues that you vote for. Under OH Law, your residence is the location you consider to be permanent, not temporary; habitation is fixed; when you are absent you intend to return. If you do not have a fixed place of habitation but are a consistent or regular inhabitant of a shelter or location that you intend to return to, you may use that residence for the purpose of voting and registering to vote. If you have questions about your specific residency circumstances, you may contact your local board of elections for further information. Read more about residency and voting in Ohio.
What about registering when you turn 17?
You are eligible to register as a voter if you are a U.S. citizen, 18 years old or older by the general election, and an Ohio resident for at least 30 days before Election Day.
Should I register in the town I go to school in?
It is up to you. You can legally register at school or at home because you have dual residency. There are important things to remember: Plan ahead before you go away to school!
If you register to vote in your Ohio hometown and you want to vote in your hometown's election, you’ll need to also sign up for an absentee ballot. If you are already registered at your home residence but intend to be at your school campus at the time of voting, register to vote at your new address online, PDF form, or your local Board of Elections.
There are some scholarships and tuition that require residency. Students should check with their financial aid office before registering to vote. Students incurring any problems can go to the Election Protection Coalition or call 866-our-vote. Kent State University students can get more information from the Kent State Votes website.
How to register to vote if you live on a college campus in a dorm
You can register to vote at your college campus residence hall with the intention to reside there at the time of voting or with 30 days residency on campus. You must include the address, name, and the number of your dorm or residence hall. Registering to vote using your dorm address means that you will vote on the offices and issues for the precinct that your dorm is in. Learn about local candidates and issues ahead of the election by going to vote411.org
Update or fill out a registration form online, or download the PDF and return it to your local Board of Elections.
What if I have a criminal record?
You are eligible to register as a voter if you are a U.S. Citizen, 18 years old or older by the general election, an Ohio resident for at least 30 days before Election Day, not currently incarcerated for a felony conviction (people with prior convictions may register to vote), have not been declared incompetent to vote or denied the right to vote by a court.