Registering to Vote

Registering to Vote

are you registered to vote?

Review the information and make a plan to register for the next election or update your registration! You've got this!


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 November 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
● 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 clicking here, by mail using a downloadable Ohio Voter Registration Application by clicking here or in person at your local Board of Elections (Portage County Board of Elections) or a library. The Portage County Board of Elections is located at the County Administration Building, 449 S. Meridian St., Ravenna, OH 44266. MAP Click here to go to the Board's website. The phone number is 330-297-3511.

You will need one of the following when registering to vote:
● A BMV issued Ohio license or ID card numbe|
● The last four digits of your social security number

● Military ID
● A copy of a Photo ID, utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document

Keeping your voter registration up-to-date 

If you are already registered to vote in Ohio but have moved within Ohio, including changing your location on campus, 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.

Think you might already be registered? Check your voter registration HERE.

How to register without a permanent address

Residence is important; it determines offices and issues that you vote for. Under Ohio 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.
  • A person without a permanent address may not use the address for the post office or other location where mail can be received as their residence address. 
  • If you have questions about your specific residency circumstances, you may contact your local board of elections (Portage County BOE at 330-297-3511) 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 November 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. 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. Click here to go to the links.

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 within 30 days residency on campus.
  • You must include the dorm name and street address, city and zip code.
    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. Larger campuses, like KSU, cover multiple precincts.
  • If a college student‘a mailing address is different from their residence address, it must be included on their voter registration and absentee ballot application.   
  • Following your signing a registration form, you will receive a mailing detailing your specific precinct and polling place. But you MUST pick up the mailed card sent about 10 days after you register or you will be on a “provisional” list. That means you will need more identification pieces on Election Day or in a follow up visit immediately following Election Day with the Board of Elections.
  • The only true identification card in Ohio is an Ohio Drivers License issued for your Kent address (about $25) or state-issued identification card for your Kent address (free) available from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Learn about local candidates and issues ahead of the election by going to

Update or fill out a registration form online, or download the PDF and return it with your Kent dorm address to your local Board of Elections, a public library or the Kent State University Information desk in the Student Center. Click here to go to the links.

You can also print out an Absentee Ballot application (Absentee Request - Portage ( that will send your ballot to your dorm mailing address. It must be returned with postage (usually two stamps) to any post office well before Election Day. No extra ID is required if you are registered from your address. Just make sure you check your mail and return the ballot immediately. There is a post office in the KSU Student Center that sells stamps. 
Further questions should be asked of the Portage County Elections Office at 330-297-3511

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

Where do I find election information?

You can find information about candidates and issues at Check the LWV Kent calendar of events for candidate forums usually a month before elections. You can also download our Voters' Guide to print at home. 


Have more questions? Visit the site of the Portage County Board of Elections here. You can email us at the League of Women Voters of Kent, lwvkent [at], or call us at (330) 271-6188.

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