Does everyone who wants to vote in Ohio have to be registered to vote here?
How do I know whether I am qualified to register and to vote in Ohio?
You are qualified to register to vote in Ohio if you meet all the following requirements:
- You are a citizen of the United States.
- You will be at least 18 years old on or before the day of the general election.
- You will be a resident of Ohio for at least 30 days immediately before the election in which you want to vote.
- You are not incarcerated (in prison) 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 disfranchised for violations of the election laws.
You are eligible to vote in elections conducted in your voting precinct more than 30 consecutive days after you are properly registered to vote in this state.
How is voting residency determined?
Ohio election officials use rules set forth in law (R.C. 3503.02) to determine a person’s qualifying voting address. Under those rules, your voting residence is the place in which your habitation is fixed and to which, whenever you are absent, you intend to return. You must intend your residence in the county to be permanent, not temporary. You will not lose your voting residency in Ohio if you leave temporarily and intend to return, unless you are absent from the state for four consecutive years.
(Exception: You will not lose your residency after four years if your absence from Ohio is due to your employment with the government of this state or the United States, including military service, unless you vote in, or permanently move to, another state.)
If you do not have a fixed place of habitation, but are a consistent or regular inhabitant of a shelter or other location to which you intend to return, you may use that shelter or other location as your residence for purposes of registering to vote.
May a student register and vote from the student’s school address in Ohio?
Yes, a student may vote using the student’s Ohio school residence address if both:
- the school residence is the place in which the student’s habitation is fixed and to which, whenever the student is absent, the student intends to return, and
- the student intends to reside permanently in the Ohio county in which the school residence address is located.