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How to Register

 

Email the Registration Department 

 

Specified Law Enforcement Officials information to redact address (Sec of State website)

If you are a peace officer, parole officer, probation officer, bailiff, prosecuting attorney, assistant prosecuting attorney, correctional employee, youth services employee, firefighter, EMT, or investigator of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation  you may request that  the board of elections redact your address from any record made available to the public on the internet. 

 

Safe At Home Program (Sec of State website)

Allows victims of domestic violence, stalking, human trafficking, rape or sexual battery to apply for an address designated by the Secretary of State (SOS) to serve as the person's address to shield their residence address from public records, including voter registration lists. Safe at Home Ohio Fact Sheet (PDF)

 

To CANCEL your Voter Registration (PDF)

If you would like to cancel your voter registration in Hamilton County, please click on the PDF above to download the cancellation notice. Complete the form, sign it and mail it to the Hamilton County Board of Elections, 4700 Smith Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45212-9002.

 

 


Does everyone who wants to vote in Ohio have to be registered to vote here?

Yes.

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What are the qualifications to register and to vote in Ohio?

You are qualified to register to vote in Ohio if you meet all the following requirements:

  1. You are a citizen of the United States;
  2. You will be at least 18 years old on or before the day of the next general election (the election held every November is the general election);
  3. You will be a resident of Ohio for at least 30 days immediately before the election in which you want to vote;
  4. You are not incarcerated (in prison or jail) for a felony conviction under the laws of this state, another state, or the United States;
  5. You have not been declared incompetent for voting purposes by a probate court; and
  6. You have not been permanently disenfranchised for violating the election laws.

You are eligible to vote in elections held in your voting precinct 30 days after you are duly registered to vote in this state. You may request an absentee ballot during that 30 day period.

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How can I register to vote?

 

You may register to vote in person, by mail or online.

 

Follow this link to register online.

You may download a voter registration form (PDF) from this website or the Secretary of State’s website. You may also use the National Mail Voter Registration form.

You may ask the Hamilton County board of elections (call 513-632-7000) or the Secretary of State’s office to mail a voter registration application to you.

You may obtain a registration application, and register to vote, in person at any of the following locations in Ohio:
 

  • The office of the Secretary of State;
  • The office of any of the 88 county boards 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 treasurer's offices; or
  • Offices of designated agencies, including:
    • The Department of Job and Family Services;
    • The Department of Health (including the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program);
    • The Department of Mental Health;
    • The Department of Developmental Disabilities;
    • The Rehabilitation Services Commission; or
    • The office of any state-assisted college or university responsible for providing assistance to disabled students.


When you have finished your voter registration application, please review it carefully for completeness and accuracy. A properly completed registration form must have your name, birth date, current addresss, qualified form of identification, your signature, and answer questions 1 (U.S. citizen) and 2 (age 18 by general election). You may either personally deliver, or send by U.S. mail, your voter registration application to a county board of elections or the Secretary of State no later than the voter registration deadline, the 30th day before the election in which you want to vote.

 

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What is the registration deadline?

Ohio has a 30-day voter registration requirement. However, if the voter registration deadline falls on a Sunday or a legal holiday, then the deadline is extended to the next day that is not a Sunday or a legal holiday.

 

Registration online

Your online registration must be complete by the voter registration deadline, the 30th day before the election, in order to be eligible to vote in that election.


Registration by U.S. mail
If you choose to register to vote using the U.S. mail, you may send your properly completed and signed registration application to the office of a county board of elections or the Secretary of State’s office. Your application must be postmarked by the voter registration deadline, the 30th day before the election, in order to be eligible to vote in that election. Mailing address: Hamilton County Board of Elections, 4700 Smith Rd, Cincinnati, OH, 45212-9002.

Registration in person
If you choose to register to vote in person, you may deliver your registration application to the office of a county board of elections, the Secretary of State’s office, a state or local office of a designated agency (see previous list), the office of the registrar or any deputy registrar of motor vehicles, a public school or vocational school, a public library, the office of a county treasurer. Your application must be received by the voter registration deadline, the 30th day before the election, in order to be eligible to vote in that election.

You also may entrust your completed registration application to another person for delivery to election officials. However, that person must deliver your application to a county board of elections or the Secretary of State’s office within 10 days after you completed the application, or by the voter registration deadline, whichever is earlier.

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What identification is required to register to vote?

When registering to vote, you must provide your name, current residential address for voting purposes, date of birth, signature (see below) and a qualifying form of identification.

 

Registering online

You must provide your Ohio driver license OR Ohio identification card number (contains two letters and six digits), AND the last four digits of your Social Security number. If you do not have a valid Ohio driver license or Ohio identification card you must register by U.S. mail or in person (see below).

Registering in person
If you have a current valid Ohio driver license or Ohio Identification card, you must provide that number (# contains two letters and six digits). If you do not have either of those identification numbers, you must provide the last four digits of your Social Security number.

Registering by U.S. mail
If you register by mail and do not provide a current Ohio driver license (or Ohio ID) number or the last four digits of your Social Security number, you must enclose with your application a copy of one of the following forms of identification: current valid photo identification issued by the State of Ohio or Federal Government, military identification, or current (within one year) utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or government or school document showing your name and current address.

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Do I have to sign my voter registration application?

Yes. Ohio law requires the applicant to sign the voter registration application. “Sign” or “signature” means your written, cursive-style legal mark written in your own handwriting. If you do not use a cursive-style mark in your regular business and legal affairs, “sign” or “signature” means any other legal mark that you use in your regular business and legal affairs that is written in your own handwriting. Online registrations use the signature from your Ohio driver license or Ohio identification card.

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What happens after I submit my voter registration application?

If the information contained on your application is found to be complete and truthful, the board of elections for the county in which you reside will accept your voter registration application. The board must register you after receiving your application and mail a notice to your voting residence address confirming that you are registered to vote, identifying your voting precinct and the location of your precinct, and stating the identification requirement for voting.

If you do not receive a notice that your registration was accepted or rejected, please contact your county board of elections before Election Day to determine if the board received your application.  

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Where is my residence for voting purposes?

Your residence is important because it determines the contests for which you are eligible to vote (e.g., the proper congressional district, school district, etc,). Your voting residence is determined by the county board of elections using guidelines established by Ohio law (R.C. 3503.02). Your voting residence is the place in which your habitation is fixed and to which, whenever your are absent, you intend to return. Also, your voting residence is a location you consider to be a permanent, not a temporary residence. You will not lose your voting residence in Ohio if you leave temporarily and intend to return to Ohio, unless you are absent from the state for four consecutive years. You may contact your local board of elections if you have questions regarding your specific situation.

(Exception: You will not lose your residency after four years if your absence from Ohio is due to your employment with Ohio or the U.S. government, including military service, unless you vote in, or permanently move to, another state or country.)

If you do not have a fixed place of habitation, but you 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.

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May a college student register and vote from his or her school address in Ohio?

It depends. A college student may vote using his or her Ohio school residence address if the student does not intend to return to a different permanent address. When a college student registers to vote from his or her school address, the school residence is considered to be the place to which the student’s habitation is fixed and to which, whenever the student is absent, the student intends to return, and is considered by the student to be his or her permanent residence at the time of voting. Any other previous residence for voting purposes is no longer valid. It is illegal for a person to register and vote from two addresses.

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What if I am unable to sign my voter registration form or other election documents?

If you are unable to sign your own name and have no other legal mark, make an “X,” if possible, on the application signature line. The person who witnessed you making that mark must write his or her name and address beneath the signature line.

If you are unable to make an “X,” you must indicate in some manner to the person assisting you that you want to register to vote. The person registering you must sign the application form and attest that you indicated that you want to register to vote, and list their name and address.

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May a person who has my "power of attorney" sign my name to my voter registration application?

No. However, if by reason of disability you are unable to physically sign your name or affix your mark to the application, you may appoint an “attorney-in-fact” in accordance with the specific requirements in R.C. 3501.382. Your attorney-in-fact then may sign a voter registration application on your behalf, but only at your direction and in your presence. Contact your county board of elections or the Secretary of State’s office for the proper forms necessary to designate an “attorney-in-fact” for this purpose.

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What are my obligations to keep the board of elections informed of address or name changes?

If you are already registered to vote but have moved within Ohio and/or changed your name, you must update your voter registration by submitting a new voter registration/information update form for your new residence and/or name.
 

Your address can be updated online if you have an Ohio driver license or an Ohio identification card (follow this link to update your address online).

 

If you change your name, a paper Voter Registration and Information Update Form is required (Click to download and print form). Complete the form, sign it and mail to the Hamilton County Board of Elections, 4700 Smith Road, Cincinnati, OH 45212-9002.

If your change of name and/or address form is completed properly, the board of elections will update your registration and send you a notice reflecting your new name and/or address. If your form is incomplete, the board will send you a notice of the information necessary to update your registration. If your valid change of name and/or address form is received and postmarked by the voter registration deadline, then you will be eligible to vote a regular (rather than a provisional) ballot at that election.

You may also update your registration during the 28 days immediately before, or on the day of, an election, but this may require you to vote a “provisional ballot”.

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Do I declare my political party affiliation when I register?

No. Under Ohio law, you declare your political party affiliation by requesting the ballot of a political party in a partisan primary election. If you do not desire to affiliate with a political party in Ohio, you are considered an unaffiliated voter. An unaffiliated voter does not vote that ballot of a political party in a primary election. However, an unaffiliated voter may vote the Official Questions & Issues Ballot, if there is one for the voter’s precinct at the election.

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May I vote if I have been convicted of a crime?

A person currently serving time in jail or prison for a felony conviction can neither register to vote nor vote. Additionally, a person who has twice been convicted of a violation of Ohio’s election laws is permanently barred from voting in Ohio. An otherwise qualified person convicted of a misdemeanor may vote, and an otherwise qualified person who has been convicted of a felony may register and vote while on probation or parole, or after completing his or her jail or prison sentence.

The voter registration of a person who is incarcerated on a felony conviction is cancelled; once that person has completed his or her jail or prison sentence, or is on probation or community control, he or she must re-register to vote by the registration deadline before voting.


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